The National Institute for Health Research has worked on some impressive projects, and some of their recent research has made it to the shortlist for a prestigious NHS award.
Truck drivers are at risk of poorer health on account of being sedentary at work and spending long hours on the road with ready access to junk food. The NIHR research has created a programme designed specifically to improve the lives of lorry drivers by helping make healthier choices, and that programme has now been shortlisted for an award for innovation.
Drivers are at an increased risk of some physical health conditions due to being seated and driving for so many hours a week. They’re also susceptible to mental health conditions such as increased stress thanks to tight schedules, a lack of sleep, and being away from home.
The programme has been devised by researchers from several teams in Leicestershire, including the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough, and local hospitals. It is known as “SHIFT,” which stands for Structured Health Intervention For Truckers. Logistics company DHL has been brought in to help “road-test” the project.
Truck drivers were highlighted as a group because they have been shown to experience higher rates of obesity and related conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
The programme that is nominated has been designed to promote behavioural changes that put a healthy diet and gentle physical activity in a more positive light. The promotion comes through an interactive session of six hours wherein participants’ activity and step count is monitored. They are coached on healthy diets and given exercise equipment that they can use either in their cabs or at rest stops.
In addition to specialist HGV insurance from companies like Quote Me Today https://www.quotemetoday.co.uk/hgv-insurance, there are also specialist training courses for truck drivers like HGV Training.
The programme is a finalist in the Self-Management category, with other shortlisted projects designed to promote awareness of key disease indicators, knowledge of healthier lifestyles, and to indicate where additional educational materials can be reached if required. The ceremony where the awards will be presented will take place in Leeds on the first Thursday in October, with the winners receiving a cash sum of £2,000 to develop their idea and project further.
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