New health guide to help truck drivers

Nurse launches new guide for truck drivers to help improve their health while on the road

By Ruza Zivkusic | June 10, 2011

A nurse has team up with the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and TWUSuper to help truck drivers stay fit while doing their job.

Nurse and founder of R&R Corporate Health, Matthew Beechey, has produced a workplace health guide that will soon be launched by Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and TWUSuper.

The 47-page long guide sheds light on healthy eating and exercises and has already got the positive tick by truck drivers who are showing great interest in improving their health, Beechey says.

Called The Healthy Road Warrior, the manual helps increase health awareness and outlines steps towards living a healthy life.

"Up until two years ago truck drivers wouldn’t give much thought or importance to their food choice and that is due to occupational health and safety. Now the word health is coming back people understand the healthier their drivers are the safer they’ll be," Beechey says.

He encourages drivers to make healthy eating habits by preparing food at home and taking it on the road to save them from dining out on takeaway items.

"What we’re trying is to educate them and alert them to take a couple of minutes to understand the impact of choosing healthier options and understanding the impact not only on their health but on their fatigue at the wheel and concentration to make smarter choices of food and fluid wise," Beechey says.

"We need to change the idea that a truck driver doesn’t care because we are proving in our program already that they really do care and they do want to learn what they can do to improve their health – not only to work better but to also enjoy a better retirement when they finish."

He says truck drivers should treat their shifts like a footballer treats his game.

"They warm up before they get into their truck and through their shifts they can do stretches using their vehicle surfaces. Just by doing that little bit of exercise will open up their body and help them realise that they have more potential and through better food they will actually have energy to exercise," Beechey says.

He says drivers should aim to walk at least 30 minutes up to four times a week.

"There are windows of opportunities for truck drivers for exercise and we really need them to start taking those opportunities," he says.

Beechey says the key to program also lies with management. He says managers need to motivate staff to take part.

"They need to not only get behind programs like this and show care for their staff but also understand that a truck driver will listen to them on getting healthier, stretching and exercising if that manager is doing it as well," he says.

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