Potential illnesses that relate to full time driving instructors are countless. Spending long hours confined in the cabin of your vehicle and being exposed to stress are just the beginning. Most people would associate only stressful situations to the profession of driver trainers. Sadly, it goes far beyond that. Some would add a possibility of getting involved in a serious car accident. Once again, there is much more to being a driving instructor than the obvious.
Here are some of hidden health effects that people in this industry often ignore. Breathing toxic fumes and other pollutants in high concentrations on daily basis. The prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause serious respiratory health problems. Also, it’s proven beyond doubt that the exhaust fumes discharged from diesel engines contain chemical cocktails that are harmful to human health and are carcinogenic.
A serious issue in driver education industry
The vast majority of driving instructors in Perth, Western Australia ignore these facts and deal with it to make their living. Sitting for a few hours in the same seat in a toxic environment, often with inadequate nutrition can have a significant negative impact on our health. According to the results of our research, hydration, tiredness, lack of quality sleep and exercise are major factors for poor health of driving instructors.
Weight gain is also very common. Taking fast food on the go can lead to obesity over the long period. Most driving instructor that we interviewed report that on a busy day they simply wouldn’t even contemplate going home for a healthy cooked lunch or a snack. Fatty burgers and sugary drinks are usually the option.
Sitting for many hours without a sufficient body movement accompanied by stressful events
Sitting all day can cause fluid retention in your limbs, especially legs and ankles. The fluid retention can lead to various disorders in vascular system. Many driving instructors complain about difficulty of finding public toilets. Only a small percentage of service stations will have public toilets. Major shopping centres do have toilets, but it’s time-consuming to park the car and access one. Holding a full bladder for too long can permanently damage the sphincters (the group of muscles surrounding and serving to guard or close an opening of bladder), potentially resulting in bladder weakness or even incontinence in older individuals.
Not drinking enough fluid is not going to help with fluid retention. On contrary, it will cause Bladder infections and other related health problems. Lack of regular fluid intake will make you more susceptible to develop kidney stones. Being well hydrated throughout the day helps keep the urinary tract healthy. The risk of urinary tract infections increases when we don’t drink enough water. Poor hydration is one of the main causes of constipation too. Drink plenty of fluid, especially in summer months while you teach driving.
Other professional drivers
Other professional drivers who spend too much time on the road are just as susceptible to these health risks. The only difference is that driving instructor occupation may be the most affected due to enormous amount of stress involved. At Driving School WA, we make our driving instructors aware of risks associated with their jobs. We have a compulsory time off which is five days a month. Every member of our team is encouraged not wait for symptoms before they take an action to prevent any unwanted health complications. Being responsible about our health is just as important as being responsible driver and driving instructor.
Fitness of driving instructors
We encourage all driving instructors who may be reading this article to get physically fit and stay fit. A fit individual can handle stress better. All of our driving instructors have healthy weight and healthy habits. Pack a healthy snack in you glove box, pull over for a few minutes and get some quality fuel for your body. And make sure you have plenty of water throughout the day.
Information about the author
Founder of Driving School WA