Survey finds back pain common for truck drivers

Canadian study says most truck drivers are in some form of pain

lower back pain

Here’s something that truck seat designers might want to consider – most truck drivers experience some form of musculoskeletal (MSD) pain and discomfort on the job.

A study out of Canada has found 57% of drivers have previously had, or are currently battling an ailment, perhaps not surprisingly, lower back pain was the most common complaint.

Public health researchers at the University of Waterloo obtained their data after surveying 107 male truck drivers passing through two popular highway stops.

They found an association between this pain and discomfort and specific risk factors, including organizational safety climate, level of risk associated with the job, and exhaustion from work tasks.

Interestingly, married drivers and those with higher education levels were more likely to report musculoskeletal pain and discomfort.

Lead author Sonja Senthanar says there could be a simple explanation for that.

“The presence of a spouse and knowledge gained from education can increase awareness of musculoskeletal symptoms – and therefore rates of reporting.”

Truck driving is the second most common occupation in Canada, employing nearly one in 35 males between the ages of 20 and 64 years.

Co-author, Philip Bigelow, says that’s why it is vitally important that strategies are adopted to curb the common health issues experienced by professional drivers.

“Physical exposures such as awkward postures, repetition, lifting, whole body vibration and prolonged sitting, as well as personal factors such as physical fitness and job satisfaction, are known to be associated with the development of MSDs.

“Since driving a truck involves a variety of these risk factors, programs that address these multiple factors are needed.”

Bigelow said that a number of large Canadian carriers have adopted programs that take holistic approaches that include reducing vibration exposures through improved seating, modifying workloads and physical tasks, as well as promoting the overall wellness of drivers by encouraging physical activity and healthy eating.

Drive a truck every day? How’s your health? What do you do to overcome the issues around sitting for long periods etc.?

Are more modern trucks better for your health? Should trucking companies do more to look after their driver’s health?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Stay up to date with the latest Truck Industry News at

About Joel Helmes 1836 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.