The trucking industry is one of the largest employers in the country, with 3.5 million drivers and as many other support personnel.
Truck drivers have significantly worse health than average. They often work long hours; long-haul drivers in particular may have to be away from home for days on end. They are under constant pressure to complete the route on time. They sleep at rest stops or beside the road; more than half get less than six hours of sleep. Truck driving is sedentary, with limited opportunities physical activity. Drivers may eat poorly, grabbing snacks and convenience food.
Over two-thirds of long-haul drivers are obese, compared to only one-third of the general population. They have twice the rate of diabetes. They suffer from excess levels of heart disease and lung cancer.
Most disturbingly, truckers have significantly shorter lives: over 10 years less than average.
Source: Laden, Francine, et al. “Cause-Specific Mortality in the Unionized U.S. Trucking Industry.” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 115, Sept. 2007, pp. 1192–96.