If you’ve ever said that driving a truck is a pain in the neck — or back or shoulders or knees — then you’re not alone.
A recently-published survey of Canadian truckers found that three out of five of them had experienced musculoskeletal pain (pain that affects the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and bones) or discomfort while driving during the previous 30 days.
However, it appears that the problems causing the pain can be reduced or alleviated.
The survey of 107 drivers was conducted by researchers from the University of Waterloo at two truck stops in southern Ontario and published recently in the Journal of Transport & Health.
“Physical exposures such as awkward postures, repetition, lifting, whole body vibration and prolonged sitting, as well as personal factors such as physical fitness and job satisfaction, are known to be associated with the development of MSDs,” said Philip Bigelow, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems and co-author of the study. “Since driving a truck involves a variety of these risk factors, programs that address these multiple factors are needed.”
In a news release about the study, Bigelow said that some Canadian carriers have adopted programs that take holistic approaches that include:
- reducing vibration exposures through improved seating
- modifying workloads and physical tasks
- promoting the overall wellness of drivers by encouraging physical activity and healthy eating