With all the other job-induced physiological problems drivers face, a new problem has surfaced recently. Some health researchers are calling sitting the new smoking. Yes sitting, like what drivers do for 10 or 11 hours a day.

Excessive sitting has been implicated in increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, disability, depression, weight gain and even some cancers. Just what we need to hear.

One recent study concluded: "Higher amounts of daily total sitting time are associated with greater risk of all-cause mortality and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity appears to attenuate [lessen] the hazardous association."

A recent radio broadcast on the CBC radio science program "Quirks & Quarks" went deep into the physiology of sitting, and with interviews of an author on the subject as well as a clinical researcher. The conclusions presented on the show have some startling implications for truck drivers, who by virtue of the job, can't help but spend many hours every day sitting.

Not surprisingly, the research presented and the solution proposed speak mostly to people who work at desks and have alternatives to sitting, such as stand-up desk, or the ability to walk around the office a few time every hour.

That's not so easy for drivers, and I'm not aware of any OEs that are developing stand-up driving positions for trucks.

The show, available as a podcast here for listening or download, also delves into the physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle. The conclusions presented and discussed are very much worth the 20 minutes you'll spend listening.

Like many of the health challenges drivers face, such as the availability of good quality sleep, healthy diet, availability of time for exercise, etc., the problems associated with prolonged sitting seem worthy of consideration. Solutions to the problem will not be easy to come by.    

About the author
Jim Park

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist, Jim Park maintains his commercial driver’s license and brings a real-world perspective to Test Drives, as well as to features about equipment spec’ing and trends, maintenance and drivers. His On the Spot videos bring a new dimension to his trucking reporting. And he's the primary host of the HDT Talks Trucking videocast/podcast.

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