French study sheds light on lorry drivers’ health
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A study of 515 drivers from 18 different countries conducted by Vinci Autoroutes has revealed the most common health issues faced by lorry drivers working in France.
The research found that 73% of the drivers are either overweight or obese according to their body mass index. This was generally true across all nationalities. Only 1 in 4 truck drivers were found to have a normal body mass index.
The breakdown by age shows that 18-24 year-olds are 28% overweight, 25-54 year-olds are 45% overweight and that 55-64 year-olds are 55% overweight. In the latter group, 33% were considered to be obese.
Asked about the quality of their diet, the truckers expressed disparate opinions; 33% considered their diet balanced, 33% considered it unbalanced and 34% didn’t know whether it was balanced or not.
When it comes to exercise, Less 29% of those surveyed said they practiced a sporting activity. According to Vinci Autoroutes, this percentage is very much related to age and decreases sharply from the age of 25. Almost two-thirds of of 18-24 year-olds partake in sport, while in the age groups above that, the figure varies between 23% and 33%. As one would expect, the research found that those drivers would participated in sporting activities more often generally had a normal body mass index.
Smoking was another area covered by the study. Tobacco consumption by HGV drivers was found to be around 38% on average, with the Bulgarian drivers most likely to smoke (56%). It was the 25-34 year old age group who were found to consume the most tobacco (49%), while the 18-24 group consumed the least (22%). Drivers who said they smoked everyday consume an average of 18.8 cigarettes per day (vs. 14.1 cigarettes per day for the general population in Europe).
As regards alcohol, only 6 in 10 truck drivers answered questions on this subject – despite the guarantee of anonymity. However, out of this sample, 8% of respondents said they drank alcohol everyday. Meanwhile, only 2% of drivers admitted to taking illegal drugs.
Photo credit: Pikist