As a driver your health is a hugely important aspect of your professional life, with the medical standards for HGV drivers being much higher than those driving a car or motorbike and is often overlooked.
Here are some of the common health issues facing drivers today.
High Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is an important part of your overall health, and having consistently high blood pressure can cause issues such as a stroke or heart attack. The issue with having a high blood pressure is that it can be very difficult to know whether you have high blood pressure due to its lack of symptoms.
If you are concerned you may have high blood pressure then it is recommended that you go and see your NHS doctor for a test, especially if you are over 40.
Some of the main causes of high blood pressure are:
Osteoarthritis: Often thought of as general ‘wear and tear’ of joints, Osteoarthritis is a serious risk for long distance drivers. Staying stationary for extended periods of time can cause your joints to become thing and eventually wear away, causing your bones to rub together.
If you are experiencing pain, stiffness or any swelling around your joints then you may have Osteoarthritis and should seek advice from your GP.
Some ways in which you can help to combat Osteoarthritis, particularly as you get older are:
Fatigue: Although not necessarily a health issue, tiredness and fatigue can have an adverse effect on your driving ability. Research shows that approx. 20% of road accidents are due to fatigue, making it extremely dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians.
As with many illnesses, tiredness is easier to prevent than cure. Be sure to plan your breaks accordingly when on longer journeys. Tiredness reduces reaction time, alertness and concentration, all things which are required whilst driving an HGV.
Tiredness can also be a result of an undiagnosed illness such as Diabetes, Sleep Apnoea, Anaemia or an underactive Thyroid. Other causes may be issues affecting your sleep such as restlessness or anxiety.
So those are the top health concerns facing HGV drivers today, if you have any concerns regarding the above please consult your GP today.
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