Arguably, many people live healthier and longer in the society currently as compared to the previous centuries. These changes are attributed to different types of human character, food, health facilities and the continuous innovation and inventions. Individuals in society have different occupations, and each of the occupation has its impacts on human health either physical, emotional or economically. As a matter of fact the major psychological problems among long distant drivers are stress and fatigue. Long distant drivers need to reduce fatigue, stress and strain by including a long stationary rest on their schedule. Brian who is long distant driver rarely stop to eat, he only uses fast food.
Study shows that long distant drivers are mostly at a high risk of experiencing psychological traumas, which come up during the course of the entire travel. The psychological changes experienced by long distant drivers can also be associated to morbidity (Hedberg 2002).Perhaps stress measures and arousal, including change of heart beat, blood pressure and anxiety are associated to the illness and disorders that the drivers undergo.
Psychological theories help in description of certain behaviors and make convincing prediction on future behaviors of individuals. In this case there are many theories that help to explain and predict the behaviors of long distant drivers. It is believed that the unhealthy issues associated with the long distant drivers can be explained in a psychological perspective. Some of these theories are behavioral theory, personality theories, cognitive theories, humanist theories, social psychology theories and developmental theories (John 1995). These psychological theories of the causes of stress can help in explaining why Brian who is a long distant lorry driver is feeling unwell.
The daily environment in which long distant drivers are exposed pollution, dangerous and noisy. It is a critical environment in which they have no little control whatsoever. Additionally it is an environment which disrupts their social life, affect family, disrupt schedules and it is always hard to plan because of its unpredictability. All this issues affect the psychology of long distant drivers such as Brian. Cognitive theory of psychology mostly focuses on the internal state such as problem solving, decision-making, thinking, motivation and attention (Barjkonet 2001).
Driver like Brian are daily exposed to significant quantity of health damaging pollutants. For example diesel fuels exhaust emissions and have a carcinogenic property; furthermore the pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide are believed to cause respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. The cold and flu, which these individual suffer is due to these environmental pollution (Hedberg 2002).
Behavioral theory of psychology can be used to elaborate on the conditions facing the drivers that cause stress. The behaviors of the long distant drivers are acquired through the conditions that they are attached to. The behavioral techniques can be used to help the drivers to overcome their problems and adapt better behaviors and skills. Lorry drivers contribute to the highest level of danger experienced by cyclists and pedestrians. The primary cause of these is over speeding which is a direct impact of time pressures and the intensification of work. This adds to the strains and stresses of their job. The conditions of the job change the behaviors of the drivers completely.
Debatably, lorry drivers are vulnerable to gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and respiratory disorders. Infact lorry drivers also expect very high incidence of bowel cancers and lung cancer as compared to any other population. Long distant drivers have lifestyles that are not appropriate to good health (Hedberg 2002). Additionally to their daily exposure to air pollution and noise the profession does not offer the same opportunities for socialization, shift work, and unsocial hours cause a complete disruption of both social activities and family life. This situation makes them to eat takeaways which in most cases are unbalanced diet.
Possibly, social contacts and family life provide fantastic source of psychological support for individuals experiencing stress. Probably, lack of social support leads to both physical unfitness and psychological illness. Long distant drivers mostly have diet that is inappropriate for their health, as compared to other jobs in which workers come home in the evening hence taking regular meals and enjoy breaks in between the office work. Brian who is a lorry driver takes lots of junk food, high in carbohydrates and fats yet low in food salads, fiber and fruits which increase vulnerability to illness such as flu and cold (John 1995).
The posture of the drivers too causes health problems. Sitting on the driving state exerts numerous forces which affect the spine. This causes musculoskeletal problems such as neck problems, backache, stiffness and pulled muscles. Furthermore the posture causes heath issues in the digestive system. Research shows that the health effects of driving for long distance, causes fatigue, stress, gastro intestinal disorders, and cancer, noise and muscular disorders (Hedberg 2002).
Personality theory assesses and describes personalities of individuals around us. It looks at the feelings, behaviors and thoughts that make people unique. Exposure of drivers to different environment might change their personality. Drivers try to adapt to environment which might be very difficult.
Actually, long distant drivers sleeping hours and lack of physical exercise causes chest pains, cardiovascular and esophagus disorders. It is important to educate the drivers on health issues that concern health consumption of balanced food and prevention of diseases (Barjkonet 2001).Lorry drivers are always unsatisfied at work, leading to anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity and hostility. Permanent driving influences the psychological health in a negative manner. It increases psychological stress in the entire profession, which causes occupational disease and accidents.
Occupational stress is primary causes of various diseases of long distant drivers. For example this diseases affecting drivers cause absenteeism and retirement at an early age. In most cases the cause of their premature retirement is caused by stress related diseases. This scenario puts the drivers who are still in work to fear for their own future and development (John 1995).
Another manifestation of stress among the lorry drivers if fatigue. This is certainly an indicator of the existing problems. Fatigue is caused by poor short hours, road traffic, long driving hours and too much work that is to be done in short time. Hence it leaves no room for correction and intervening situations (Barjkonet 2001).
The psychological problems and disorders among long distant drivers are caused by; lack of enough time to drink rest and eat, no food breaks, no rest, seats are un adjustable, staying away from home and finally the type of diet (John 1995). Drivers should be advised psychologically on this cause of stress and other illness. In fact, they need to seek medical attention because their occupation exposes them to more diseases.
The health of lorry drivers is very important in occupational health, public health, employment conditions and transport policy. The health of the drivers should be improved in order to maximize gains to all sectors of the economy. It is the responsibility of the drivers like Brian to seek medical attention because they are sick.
Barjkonet, P., 2001, Traffic Psychology Today, London: Wiley
John, W., 1995, Health of Professional Drivers, Lancaster: White Cross
Hedberg, G, 2002, Physical Strain in Swedish Lorry Drivers, Tokyo: Ergol