Cross-sectional surveillance study to phenotype lorry drivers’ sedentary behaviours, physical activity and cardio-metabolic health
journal contributionposted on 15.12.2016, 14:31 by Veronica Varela-Mato, Orlagh O'Shea, James King, Thomas E. Yates, David Stensel, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Myra A. Nimmo, Stacy Clemes
Objectives: Elevated risk factors for a number of chronic diseases have been identified in lorry drivers. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as a lack of physical activity (PA) and high levels of sedentary behaviour (sitting) likely contribute to this elevated risk. This study behaviourally phenotyped UK lorry drivers’ sedentary and non-sedentary behaviours during workdays and non-workdays and examined markers of drivers cardio-metabolic health. Setting: a transport company from the East Midlands, UK. Participants: a sample of 159 male heavy goods vehicle drivers (91% White European; [median(Range)] age: 50(24, 67)years) completed the health assessments. 87 (age: 50.0(25.0, 65.0); BMI: 27.7(19.6, 43.4)kg/m2) provided objective information on sedentary and non-sedentary time. Outcomes: Participants self-reported their socio-demographic information. Primary outcomes: Sedentary behaviour and PA, assessed over 7 days using an activPAL3 inclinometer. Cardio-metabolic markers included: blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), body composition, and fasted capillary blood glucose (FBG), triglycerides (TGs), HDL-Cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) and Total-Cholesterol (TC) levels. These cardio-metabolic markers were treated as secondary outcomes. Results: Lorry drivers’ presented an unhealthy cardio-metabolic health profile (median (IQR-ranges) Systolic BP: 129(108.5, 164) mmHg; Diastolic BP: 81(63, 104)mmHg; BMI: 29(20, 47)kg/m2; WC: 102(77.5, 146.5)cm; LDL-C: 3(1, 6)mmol/l; TC: 4.9(3, 7.5)mmol/l). 84% were overweight or obese, 43% had type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes and 34% had the Metabolic Syndrome. The sub-sample of lorry drivers with objective postural data (n=87) accumulated 13hours/day and 8hours/day of sedentary behaviour on workdays and non-workdays (p<0.001), respectively. On average, drivers accrued 12min/day on workdays and 6min/day on non-workdays of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Conclusion: Lorry drivers demonstrate a high-risk cardio-metabolic profile and are highly sedentary and physically inactive. Interventions to reduce sitting and increase MVPA during breaks and leisure-time to improve cardio-metabolic health are urgently needed. Educational programs to raise awareness about diet and exercise are recommended.
The authors would like to thank all the drivers who participated in this study. The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts of all of the managers that made the recruitment possible. This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Diet, Lifestyle & Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit based at University Hospitals of Leicester and Loughborough University. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences