The purpose of this report is to describe wellness programs and offer two suggestions for improving how they are delivered to commercial drivers and operators. It is not a large sample empirical study from which generalizations can be made. Rather, the Mineta Transportation Institute commissioned brief case studies of transportation companies to show what several organizations have done. Stress, nicotine use, sleep apnea, obesity and lack of information are significant barriers to wellness in commercial drivers/operators. Many wellness programs ask the individual driver/operator to lose weight; exercise more; and monitor blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and other such indicators of health. However, little is done to change the environment or adopt structural interventions such as forbidding nicotine use, as is possible in 20 states. Other structural interventions include those possible at the levels of the company and community, including access to healthy food rather than the junk food drivers often can find on the road. At the societal level, more public transit that gets people walking and out of their cars, cities designed for people to walk and cycle in rather than drive from work to a sprawling suburb, and encouraging food manufacturers to make healthy food (rather than a toxic mix of sodium, fat and sugar to boost one’s craving for a particular food) are just a few measures that could improve the health and well being of the public. The Union Pacific Corporation (rail transportation), and Con-way Freight (trucking) are included because they were willing to share information and are large publicly traded companies. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is included because other transit authorities recommended it to the authors, as it has a long history in wellness as part of local government and it too chose to participate. Two issues are discussed: the first is the importance of using the mitigation of erectile dysfunction in the promotion of wellness programs to commercial drivers/operators and the second issue is to urge employers to consider banning tobacco use, both on and off the job, where legal.
Miscellaneous Transportation Topics
Tobacco, Nicotine, Commercial drivers, Obesity, Wellness, Erectile dysfunction
Asbjorn Osland, Nanette C. Clinch, Lauren Ramsay, and Pamela Wells. "Wellness Lessons From Transportation Companies, Research Report WP 11-01" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2011).