Hyderabad: According to a study published in the International Journal of Community Medicine, drivers, who constitute a major chunk of the transport system, were found to be at an increased risk of early onset of cardiovascular diseases owing to their irregular meal patterns, improper sleep schedule, bad posture, and smoking habit.
The study was carried out in Hyderabad. Drivers from different transport systems were evaluated, and their lifestyle taken into account.
The study showed that their sedentary lifestyles predisposed them to gastrointestinal, respiratory, and even musculoskeletal diseases, and further indicated the likelihood of early advent of cardiovascular diseases.
Some drivers mentioned that they had been working since the age of 20 and had been in the profession for over two decades.
Senior cardiologist Dr S.S. Mukherjee explained, “Sedentary lifestyle can become a major factor behind the early advent of cardiovascular diseases. In the case of full-time drivers, they are at the risk of exposure to high levels of pollution, which further increases the possibility. Additionally, a majority of our drivers are addicted to tobacco and other substances, which adds to the risk.”The study, which evaluated over 500 drivers between 35 and 50 years of age, found that 14 per cent of them suffered from diabetes and 15 per cent suffered from hypertension.
About 69 per cent drivers were found to be overweight or obese, and 41 per cent reported refractive errors.
The average time that they could invest in physical activity was found to be less than 20 minutes per day.
The study noted that its subjects belonged to the lower strata of society where education is not as prioritised. As a result, their awareness in terms of preventive care is rather limited.
The study suggested that full-time drivers should be briefed on early precautionary measures for the effective management of lifestyle risks so they can take up preventive care.