Work patterns, sleeping hours and excess weight in commercial drivers

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Work and sleep patterns for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers often include long working hours, shift work and diminished sleep duration and quality, which have been linked to overweight, obesity and other problems.


To explore possible connections between work, sleep and obesity among CMV drivers.


Survey and anthropometric data were collected from male long-haul CMV drivers in central North Carolina, USA, over a period of 6 months. Drivers' body mass index (BMI) was used as a measure of total body obesity and sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) as a measure of central adiposity.


Among the 260 study subjects, mean BMI was 33.1 (64% were obese or morbidly obese) and mean SAD was 32.3cm, classifying 89% of drivers as being at high or very high cardiometabolic risk. About 83% of drivers worked an irregular daily schedule, 64% worked irregular total daily hours, 32% worked irregular days of the week and 46% reported getting <7h of sleep during work nights. Significant predictors of BMI included the number of hours worked daily (P < 0.05) and the age (P < 0.01) of the driver, while age was also a significant predictor for SAD (P < 0.05). Significant predictors of sleep quality included the extent of shift work (P < 0.05) and sleep duration (P < 0.001).


Work and sleep configurations appear to affect the weight status of CMV drivers. Shift work and sleep duration are both associated with the weight status of CMV drivers, and both appear to function as indicators of their sleep quality.

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