The life of a driver working in one of the large haulage companies is not an easy one – despite the fun and freedom!Long hours spent in the cabin of a lorry, unhealthy meals, regularly disrupted sleep cycles, stress from looming deadlines – it can turn into a ticking time bomb of bad health if improperly managed.
These problems won’t magically go away, all a driver can do is manage them. Here’s one way of doing it.
Unsustainability: The Core Issue
Living healthier is easier said than done, which is why it would be ineffective for haulage companies to simply tell their drivers to live healthier and expect instant results. Individuals have differing lifestyles, physiologies, preferences and habits,making itimpossible for a uniform diet or fitness program to work in all cases.
Some regimens are too draining orsimply impractical for some drivers, while others may find the same regimen ineffective and too easy. This difficulty in finding the right balance makes it very difficult for haulage companies to find a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of health and fitness.
A former haulier, Siphiwe Baleka, however, discovered a wayto deal with the diverse needs of drivers: data from wearable fitness-tracking devices.
Personalized Data: Providing Insight
While hauling goods across the United States, Baleka found himself frustrated with his inability to keep himself fit. The usual workouts ate up too much time and he found it almost impossible to find healthy food while on the road.Baleka experimented with his options, and was eventually able to formulate a program that was designed specifically for long distance drivers – based on their personal health and fitness data. This data was gathered through the use of fitness-tracking armbands and completed by drivers logging in the foods they ate each day.Baleka then used the information to customize a program for each haulier to accommodate their current condition.
Scaling was an important component of these regimens. Baleka was able to design individual fitness programs as well as make dietary suggestions to ensure that the hauliers got the exercise they needed without straining their bodies or their energy levels. He pitched ‘micro workouts’ to the drivers, which involved putting in as much physical activity as they could while on the job, such as jogging around their parked truck and conducting strength drills while in the shower stalls.
Real-Time Feedback and the Human Element
Of course, this doesn’t mean that haulage companies can solve their employee fitness problem simply by slapping on fitness bracelets or armbands on their hauliers – it needs management. Simply put, fitness is something thatcompanies need to invest in. Hiring fitness officers and arming their fleet of hauliers with fitness devices is the means to an end – that end being the improved health (and therefore efficiency) of their hauliers.