Archive for the ‘Physical Health OTR’ Category

April 13th, 2017

 

 

In 2015 reported crashes involving cellphones increased by 16%. In fact, cellphones contributed to 2,237 crashes in Missouri. That is 2,237 different times that drivers chose to split their attention between driving and another activity. Distracted driving crashes are 100% preventable.

According to safety experts there are three types of distractions.

Manual

These are the type of distractions where you move your hands away from the task of the controlling the vehicle. Eating, answering the phone, grabbing your atlas these type of activities physically you require to let go of the steering wheel to get something.

Visual

As you might guess these distractions take your focus away from the road. Looking to grab your drink or looking down to adjust the radio are a couple of examples.

Cognitive

When your mind wanders from the task of driving and you begin to daydream, you are experiencing a cognitive distraction. When you think of how many miles you have for the week and find yourself doing a mental budget of bills due and where you would want to go on vacation you aren’t focusing on the road, the cars or trucks around you or what looks like heavy rain ahead.

 

The dangers of using cell phones are the consequences arising from its use, typically all three types of distractions listed above. In a recent survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, over 90 percent of drivers recognized the danger from cell phone distractions, but 35 percent of those same people admitted to having read or sent an email or text message.

Driving is the event. Talk to your family and friends about distracted driving and what they should do to avoid it. Using the SMITH system, planning your trip thoroughly and making sure you have enough rest are a few ways to prevent distractions behind the wheel.

For more information, visit http://www.enddd.org.

April 10th, 2017

In an increasingly technology driven society it has become important to unplug and take time off of our mobile devices. Every day our professional drivers and those across the industry depend on technology to perform their job. Technology in itself is not a bad thing. It allows us to have 24/7 access to information and helps us stay connected to our families when we are unable to be there physically. The problem is how much and often we use it.

According to the Huffington Post, 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. Another study found that mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes. There are proven benefits to taking time off and “unplugging” from our phones and other electronic devices.

Increased quality of sleep

Research suggests that the blue light from our computer, phone and tablet screens makes it difficult for our bodies to fall asleep due to reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “sleep hormone” and reduced levels can have an impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep. They suggest that the best practice is to disconnect before bed, rather than falling asleep looking at our phones.

Improved time management skills

How many of us have spent hours watching TV or searching the internet without realizing it? Whenever we are not glued to our devices, we are able to focus 100% of our attention on the task at hand. Take your 10 hour break for example. In those 10 short hours you might want to eat a quick bite, do laundry, get up and stretch since you’ve been sitting so long, call a friend or FaceTime your family and you can’t forget you will also need to get some sleep so you’re ready to drive after your break is up. If you spend two hours watching a movie instead of doing more important things then something on your list is going to suffer. Setting boundaries on the amount of time you spend on your device will help you prioritize what you need to get done and help you maximize the time you have available.

Improved health and posture

Unfortunately, professional drivers do not a have the luxury to stop frequently and get out to stretch. This means that is even more important to utilize the opportunities to get out and be active. Prolonged sitting can lead to posture problems, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more. It is good for your body and mind to put the phone down and get some fresh air. Whether it’s choosing a parking spot further away so you have longer to walk or even walking around your truck a few times, it is important to have some type of physical activity as a part of your daily routine. While technology can assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle the trick is to recognize when it is actually helping and when it is hurting.

 

Just like with anything, moderation is the key! Try giving yourself 30 minutes to wind down from the day technology-free. Reading a book or doing yoga before bed can help increase the quality of your sleep and even help you fall asleep faster.

 

April 6th, 2017

“New year, New you!”

The beginning of each year brings about a renewed energy and high hopes for a healthier lifestyle and an overall better self. Many of us dive deep in the information superhighway surfing through articles on the best training routine and latest diet or cleanse. Spring fashions bring the coolest workout wear.

We ask coworkers and friends about their gym experience and receive a myriad of stories.  We ask, we read, we compare, we read more blogs, we listen to others and take notes. We are amazed by before and after pictures online. We like what we heard and we pull up the YouTube video and watch multiple videos. We check Facebook feed and notice suggestive selling items which weren’t there before. Navigating health and fitness blogs has made you a target to marketers. We see gadgets, protein shakes, pre-workouts, vitamins, trainers and exercise machines. 

We were close to a decision on which program to follow, but now….we’re not entirely sure. So, we click on that suggested link for a different blog with a different diet and training plan. We read and we watch and we take notes. They seem to make sense, we like them too.    

This pattern can extend for days and our good intentions begin to subdue under incessant bombarding of information. We are exhausted and confused. There are multiple directions and schools of thought on how to proceed. We’re not sure, we know we want to improve and we don’t want to break the bank. 

Well, maybe I should look into this other thing here…..STOP

This is a classic example of paralysis of analysis. It is a great move to be informed because you don’t want to get hurt by jumping into a CrossFit class only to find it is unsustainable and abandon it immediately. The key is to start where you are, doing what you can, with one guide. Start walking, start bicycling, start swimming, start dancing…just start and be consistent. Do not overthink it. Follow one trainers advice for 100 days. Give yourself time to see results. DO SOMETHING. Stop planning, thinking, researching, comparing, debating…put on those tennis shoes and go. Your body will thank you. Your mind will thank you. You will be amazed at the things you can do…if you just start.