The Healthy Fleet Challenge is underway. So far there is over 25 fleets and allied trades from Canada and the USA competing together with one common goal, “to create more awareness of the importance of getting up off our butts and walking more,” said Aaron Lindsay, Marketing Manager at NAL Insurance.
The Healthy Fleet Challenge isn’t a competition, although with team results posted on www.healthyfleet.com. “I think there will be a few fun rivalries heating up the month of July” said Lou Smyrlis, Editorial Director at Truck News who has partnered with NAL on this very important venture.
To participate, team members purchased a FitBit device (wearable technology that measures your steps) or downloaded the http://www.moves-app.com/ (free) which converted an android or iPhone into a pedometer. Teams were formed with as little as two members, but we have now allowed up to 15 to participate and fleet averages will be calculated.
It’s no secret that our industry struggles with a sedentary lifestyle. Research shows that sitting for long periods of time is one of the things that reduce our life expectancy. Fleets were encouraged to build their team with O/O’s, Drivers and Staff to tackle this problem together.
“Trucking is known for its long hours, time away from home and stressful situations – all of which can lead to unhealthy eating and exercise habits. And those unhealthy habits can ultimately result in illness and premature death for too many of our industry friends and associates” says Smyrlis.
A few ways drivers can become more active on the road include:]
Periodic leg lifts and ankle turns circles (when you are parked and waiting to get unloaded).
When you do get stopped for good, don’t head straight to the restaurant where you sit down again, try going for a brisk walk.
Park further away and do a few extra circles (during your circle check) around the truck.
Find a spot that you can stand to eat. It would be great if more truck stops built stand up booths don’t ya think?
Do exercises in and around the truck (see www.healthtrucker.com for some great exercise tips).
Stop at truck stops like the TA that have walking trails (140+) or exercise rooms (45 locations)
When you do get home, get more active with your family (bike rides, walk the dog, head down to the park and enjoy the great weather that we are finally getting.
But it’s not just Drivers that are at risk. For those of us that work in an office, chances are we are sitting most of the day too. We sit when we are eating, travelling to and from work and many of us are so tired by the end of the day we may just plop ourselves down in front of the TV after dinner for another few hours before heading to bed.
Suggestions for Staff
Stand up when you are on the phone (maybe even get a head set)
Take the stairs
Have walking meetings
Go for short walks and grab some water
Try and stand and stretch every hour (set a timer) to get the blood flowing
Invest in a standing workstation
Invest in a stability ball chair
Go for a walk on your lunch (Many Brian Kurtz Trucking Employees go for a 1 o’clock walk)
Carriers and Allied Trades that are participating have their logo posted on the www.healthyfleet.com site. In addition, teams also have individual pics of O/O’s, Drivers and Staff which allow them to hold their own mini competition at their respective companies. A recent addition to the site also shows how you personally rank with all participants in the challenge.
Mario Da Silva, Director of Corporate Services at Challenger said “this challenge has created a lot of buzz already at our companies as we compete internally to see who can post the most steps each day”. Accountability seems to be the key for all of us. Until you start tracking your steps, it’s actually quite surprising how few steps you can actually take in a day.”
Statistics show that a sedentary person may only average 1000-3000 steps per day. Experts suggest that we should be taking at least 10,000 steps per day. If `your average stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long that means it takes around 2000 steps to walk 1 mile and over 10,000 steps to walk 5 miles.
Healthier Drivers and Employees means a reduction in lost time due to injury, illness and a reduction in prescription drug use. It’s truly a win/win situation for everyone.
Even though things started July 1st, fleets and allied trades are still invited to join the challenge to help us reach our goal of 25,000 miles (one time around the world) even quicker. In addition to accumulating daily and monthly steps, we also set up a 7-day rolling count meter on the site, so teams can be formed anytime right up until we achieve our goal of walking around the world as an industry.
We’ve all heard the saying that knowledge is power…but it’s the application of knowledge that matters. Getting involved in the Healthy Fleet Challenge takes us one step closer to getting our O/O’s, Drivers and Employees, just a little bit healthier!
You can request to join the challenge by sending your company information firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Glenn Caldwell is the Vice-President of Sales for NAL Insurance Inc. of London ON. For over 25 years, Glenn has worked closely with many fleets across the country to ensure their Owner/Operators have the protection they need to Keep Rollin’.
You can reach him (800) 265 1657-3350
email@example.com www.nalinsurance.com www.healthytrucker.com.