New Year, new goals for courier drivers

Make 2022 the year you keep your resolutions

Seven weeks; this is the average length of time New Year’s Resolutions last. Research shows that 95% of New Year’s Resolutions are fitness related1,

In the UK, 23 million people resolved to make 2021 healthier and happier1.

What will your New Year’s Resolution be for the coming year?

Certainly,’ looking after yourself’ should be a resolution that is important to keep long term. Courier drivers often lead busy working lives on the road, which can result in some unhealthy lifestyle choices. Driving is physically and mentally demanding work. You use dexterity, hand eye co-ordination and stamina to get the job done. And yet, your own well-being can get neglected.

As we start 2022, here are some top tips on how you can take care of yourself.

Tiredness;– Almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related and 40% involve commercial vehicles2   

If you begin to feel tired, find a safe place to stop and drink two cups of coffee or a high caffeine drink and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Bear in mind this is a last resort fix to keep you going for a short while and its vital that you do take a break.

According to ROSPA, young male drivers, truck drivers, company car drivers and shift workers are most at risk of falling asleep while driving 2

The RAC recommends that drivers avoid making long trips between midnight-6am and 2-4 pm when natural alertness is low [3].

Take Breaks;- Try to include 15-minute breaks for every two hours of continuous driving when planning your routes and schedules, as recommended by road safety charity Brake 4   

Stretch your legs at least once an hour.

Keep active and exercise; – Sitting for long periods can lead to obesity, heart disease and depression, as well as joint and muscle issues. Adopting a more active lifestyle generally is beneficial. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits. Fitness doesn’t take hours and hours; it just takes good planning. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Our Wellbeing Matters app can help.

Eat well; – It’s all too easy to rely on fast food or skip meals altogether. Taking your own packed lunch and healthy snacks will be healthier and save you money too. In the UK, 60% of professional drivers eat and drink the majority of their food in their vehicles and 56% consider themselves overweight 5. Our wellbeing app can help you with recipe ideas for tasty, nutritional health meals on the go.

Drink lots of water; – a survey funded by the National Institute for Health Research in 2018 revealed that 27% of drivers drink just 1.2- 1.4 litres of water per day and 19% drink less than half the recommended volume. Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day is essential to prevent dehydration symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and lack of focus. If plain water isn’t really your thing, simply add a dash of cordial or a few slices of lemon to add flavour.

Deal with stress; – Tight schedules, being stuck in traffic, getting lost and being on the road can contribute to psychological stress and sleep deprivation. Chronic fatigue, concentration issues and experiencing frustration on a regular basis are some of the signs of stress. Other signs include a sudden change in weight.

Make sure that you don’t overstretch yourself and build in break times during the day. Get out of your vehicle for some fresh air and a brisk walk. Use a route planner to get organised. Allow yourself time away from work as “me “time.

Look after your mental health; – As with stress, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can be helpful. Play music while you drive or listen to podcasts that you enjoy. Avoid tobacco, excess caffeine, and alcohol as they can all make matters worse. Talk to someone. Building a support network such as driver groups on Facebook or other online communities can help. A problem shared is a problem halved!

Sign up to the health & wellbeing portal

At Business Choice Direct we understand that it’s not always easy to take the time that you should in order to focus on your health and wellbeing. That is where our FREE health and wellbeing platform can help.

Wellbeing Matters gives you access to a range of health & wellbeing-based products and services for individuals, businesses and those who are self-employed to help support you to feel better at home and at work.

At the core of Wellbeing Matters is a portal that provides personalised exercise routines, healthy eating advice and a host of other tools to help your wellbeing.

1 https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2019/12/31/quarter-brits-will-make-new-years-resolution

2 ROSPA https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/drivers/fatigue-litreview.pdf

3 https://www.webfleet.com/en_gb/webfleet/blog/driver-fatigue/#_ftnref4

4 http://www.brake.org.uk/news/15-facts-a-resources/facts/485-driver-tiredness

5 https://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2017/december/truck-driver-health-research/

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