Back pain? A stiff neck? Driving a truck takes a toll on the body, so Scania offers smart tips to HGV Drivers for better health. Here are some simple exercises to do inside and outside of the cab.
- A driver’s neck and shoulders become tense during long periods of sitting and driving.
- The body stiffens up after prolonged sitting, negatively affecting blood circulation.
- Bone movement, such as shifting between load and release, lubricates joints and brings nutrients to spinal discs.
|a) Raise your shoulders up towards your ears and breathe in at the same time. Hold for three seconds.||b) Drop your shoulders and breathe out at the same time. Lower and push your shoulder blades together for three seconds. Repeat a few times.||c) Pull your chin in to loosen up your neck. Repeat a few times.|
|Tighten your buttock muscles so that you rise up from the seat. This relieves and increases the flow of blood. Relax and drop down. Repeat a few times.||Bend and arch your lower back to limber up. Repeat a few times.||Engage cruise control and move your feet up and down to warm up. This is to prevent blood clots in your veins.|
Comprehensive studies of driving conditions
Scania Driver Care is a concept developed by health specialists at Scania to motivate drivers and fleet owners to take health issues more seriously.
“We’re convinced that investing in a long-term programme that takes on wellness and the working environment makes drivers healthier,” says Gunnar Hedlund, one of the concept’s developers. “It will also pay off rapidly.”
The initiative is based on extensive studies of drivers and their working conditions. One hundred truck drivers from Sweden, Poland and Austria were interviewed about their eating habits, exercise and health. It was clear that many of them were sitting still too much and their meals were not varied enough.
Based on the results, a programme was developed to cover such issues as ergonomics, health, exercise and diet. So far, Scania Driver Care has been presented at about 30 events in Sweden, Austria, Italy and Germany. At these events, health educators, ergonomists, occupational health nurses and masseurs explained the concept, answered questions and inspired participants.
Lotta Hallin, an occupational health nurse, and Ida Söderström, a health promoter, have participated in several of the events. “Drivers respond very positively to the fact that we take note of their working conditions,” says Hallin. “They realise that the small changes we suggest can make a big difference.”
Scania Driver Care has been continuously adjusted and improved, thanks to suggestions from drivers and fleet owners. The feedback has included requests for more comfortable seats and the ability to adjust the height of the seatbelt. “This has been valuable input for further work,” Hallin says. “Drivers’ needs are different, and we are pleased that we can contribute with inspiration and practical advice.”
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