Perry, Pfiffner tout benefits of driver wellness investments
ATLANTA — Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab President Bob Perry, also vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations‘ Wellness Council, spoke to attendees of the Healthy Trucking Association of America‘s 2010 Healthy Trucking Summit Feb. 3, sharing with them the benefits of investing in driver wellness.
Perry suggested the steps to improving driver health are education, motivation and reward. “(Drivers) are very willing, and they want to make the changes,” he said. Preventing unnecessary illness and down-time is a large part of the battle, he said. “You don’t drive your rig down the road at night with the lights out. Managing your health is the same way. You’ve got to stay out in front of it.”
Roadside provides tools to help drivers and fleets maintain this advantage in keeping drivers healthy by providing face-to-face meetings with medical professionals, in addition to tools like a workout plan, a nutrition guide and health coaching by phone, among others. Tests done by Roadside have shown average weight loss of 24 percent, a 14-percent average decrease in BMI, 16 percent lower cholesterol in 90 days and 11 percent lower glucose in 90 days, Perry said. The company also offers the Driver Body Fuel Kit to assist drivers in making healthy food choices. All of Roadside’s tools are available for individual drivers and fleets.
In the same session, Chelle Pfiffner, president of Big Road Wellness by J&K Health Consulting, discussed how even fairly simple wellness programs can greatly improve a company’s bottom line. She said her company’s research shows that by attending one or two wellness sessions per year, drivers half their annual average amount of weight gained. By attending three to four sessions, drivers actually began to lose weight, and with a few more sessions, even better results were seen. She said the best results often were seen through utilizing dispatchers to disseminate information about the program.
The HTAA’s second annual Healthy Trucking Summit is being held in Atlanta, Feb. 2-4.