Prime studies wellness of its drivers

Updated Dec 15, 2014
prime fitness

Prime, Inc., (16th on Commercial Carrier Journal’s Top 250 List) the refrigerated, flatbed and tanker trucking company located in Springfield, Mo., recently released preliminary results of their Driver Body Composition Study to promote healthy lifestyles and wellness among truck drivers.

From April to November of this year, Prime measured the body composition of over 100 drivers who enrolled in their Driver Health and Fitness (DHF) 13-week program. Using a method called bio-electric impedance, the company measured each driver’s weight, body fat percentage, water weight, muscle mass, visceral fat, basal metabolic rate, bone density, metabolic age and physique rating.

The average weight of all drivers, men and women, was 268 lbs. In addition, the average body fat for all DHF participants was 40 percent. The visceral fat rating, which is a measure of the fat surrounding the internal organs in the belly area, was an average of 18.

“What the preliminary study shows us is that the drivers in Prime’s fleet tend to be healthier than most truck drivers,” said Siphiwe Baleka, Prime’s driver health and fitness coach. “Nationally, 86 percent of truck drivers are overweight and 69 percent are obese. We track the BMI of the entire Prime fleet and currently only 56 percent of our drivers are obese. We’ve set up programs to reduce the average BMI of the fleet to less than 30 percent, the percentage cut off for obesity.”

While there is not enough complete data on the overall effect of the DHF 13-Week program, the average weight loss of drivers that have completed the program is 20 lbs. Over 80 drivers have lost 7 percent of their body weight or more in 13 weeks without skipping meals and, as a result, they have reduced their risk for 60 medical disorders and 12 types of cancers.