Truckies' Nutrition and Physical Activity: A Cross-sectional Survey in Queensland, Australia

Marguerite C Sendall, Laura K McCosker, Rahma Ahmed, Phil Crane

Abstract


Truck drivers are at increased risk of diet- and physical activity-related chronic diseases. Despite this, there is a paucity of data about Australian truck drivers' diet and physical activity behaviors. A multiple choice and short response survey was distributed to truck drivers attending an Australian Truck Show. The survey asked about self-reported health, source of health information, number of serves of fruit, vegetables, unhealthy food, and sugary drink consumed per day, and frequency of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. The survey was completed by 231 truck drivers—almost all were male, with a mean age of 46 (range 20 to 71) years. Over 85% of survey respondents worked more than 9 hrs per day. Nearly 75% acknowledged the need to make changes to improve their health. Half consumed fewer serves of fruit and 88% consumed fewer serves of vegetables than national recommendations. Over 63% consumed at least one serve of unhealthy foods per day, and 65% drank at least one can of sugary drink per day. Most (80%) undertook less than moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity levels provided in national recommendations. Of concern, almost 90% of drivers had above the recommended body mass index—approximately 60% were obese. This is almost double the proportion found in the general population. These findings highlight the importance of health promotion to help drivers make better choices about their health behaviors, which are often underpinned by the limitations of their work environment. Health promotion in transport industry workplaces should be an important topic for future research.

Keywords


Motor Vehicles; Obesity; Health behavior; Risk factors; Nutritional status; Exercise; Health promotion



doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2019.1533


 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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