Queensland led workplace program helps truckies health

Queensland led workplace program helps truckies health

With many hours spent on the road, keeping healthy can be a considerable challenge for Australian truckers, who don’t always have access to fresh healthy food, and the ability to keep up a regular exercise routine. Due to the nature of their jobs, many truck drivers are at risk of developing serious diseases, such as diabetes and heart related issues, given the long hours worked and relatively sedentary work life.

It’s with this in mind that the Queensland Government rolled out an initiative to help truck drivers maintain good health, despite the challenges before them. Here we look at the benefits of the program, and how these positive outcomes were achieved.

The Healthier. Happier. Workplaces initiative

Funded by the Queensland Government, the Healthier. Happier. Workplaces initiative was developed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in response to increasing concerns over the health and safety of truck drivers in Australia. The project focused on implementing good nutrition and physical practices for Aussie truckies in South-East Queensland, specifically tailored to the challenges of a mobile workforce. The project, which spanned two years, involved five transport industry workplaces, ranging from 20 to 200 employees each.

What did the initiative entail?

According to health promotion expert at QUT, Dr Marguerite Sendall: “there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to improving nutritional and physical activity in transport industry workplaces.” The Healthier. Happier. Workplaces initiative therefore focused on how each individual transport company could improve the health and physical activity levels of their truck drivers, whether through providing free fresh fruit, or supplying mini-fridges on board the vehicle to allow drivers the flexibility to control what they eat. “Interventions included offering healthy options in vending machines at work, and instigating the 10,000 steps workplace challenge,” Dr Sendall said.

What were the results?

The results of the two year project were, according to QUT, extremely pleasing. Overall, drivers involved in the initiative reported a 15% drop in obesity levels, indicating that they are eating better, exercising more, and losing weight. There was also a marked increase in the number of drivers self-reporting their health as “good” and “excellent”, as well as an increase in the number of drivers who were making their own lifestyle changes to improve their health. Increased awareness of the need for good health, both within and outside of the workplace, is therefore helping drivers to not just respond to work-driven initiatives, but to take this further into their personal agendas.

Want to know more about healthy workplace initiatives?

We promote healthy workplace initiatives for all of the National Heavy Haulage team. Our website and blog contains a whole host of information on how to promote a safe workforce and truckie health, and we’re dedicated to ensuring the truck driving industry is as productive and healthy as it can possibly be.

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