Research/studies Worker health and wellness Trucking

Long-haul truckers more likely to be obese than other workers: study

Washington – Long-haul truck drivers are twice as likely to be obese – and more likely to have other risk factors for chronic disease – as the entire U.S. adult working population, according to recent NIOSH study.

Researchers surveyed 1,670 long-haul truck drivers at 32 U.S. truck stops in 2010 about their health and work practices. They also calculated participants’ body mass indexes and compared the data to 2010 data from the National Health Interview Survey of U.S. working adults.

Results showed that 69 percent of survey participants were obese, slightly more than half said they smoked cigarettes and about 26 percent had hypertension. In addition, 88 percent of participants had at least one of these three risk factors, compared with 54 percent of the adult working population.

The researchers concluded that long-haul truckers need further health surveillance and targeted interventions to improve their health.

The study, which received funding from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, was published online Jan. 4 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.