How to Reduce Your Risk of Depression As a Truck Driver
Who wants to talk about depression? Certainly not most truck drivers! However, it is an important topic. For many, truck driving entails an isolated lifestyle, which, in turn, carries an increased risk of depression. But with a little planning and lifestyle modifications, trucking doesn't have to give you the blues.
Cambridge University just put out a study that analyzed the lifestyle, genes, brain structure, and overall physical health of 290,000 adults over a nine-year period. Out of these individuals, 13,000 developed depression during the course of the study. Researchers found that there were seven healthy lifestyle factors associated with a lowered risk of depression.
Leslie summarizes the research in our #MotivationMonday video, and we go further in-depth below, explaining the seven lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of depression and nine foods you can add to your diet to further lower that risk.
Seven Lifestyle Factors That Reduce Depression:
A Good Night's Sleep
Getting between seven and nine hours a night made the biggest difference, reducing the incidence of depression or depressive events by 22%.
Not Using Tobacco
Those who avoided tobacco use showed a 20% decreased risk of depression.
Frequent Social Connection
Engaging in regular social interactions reduced the incidence of depression by 18% and was the most protective against recurring depressive episodes.
Getting Regular Physical Activity
Moving our bodies matters! Researchers found that those who reported regular physical activity reduced their likelihood of depression by 14%.
Low to Moderate Sedentary Behavior
Sitting is bad for us. As drivers, that can be hard to avoid, but it can reduce the incidence of depression by 13%.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Drinking only a moderate amount of alcohol, or less than one drink a day, reduced the incidence of depression by 11%.
Getting a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in red meat, reduced the incidence of depression by 6%.
Which Foods Reduce the Risk of Depression?
The following foods are great to add into your regular rotation if you're trying to decrease your risk of depression or improve your overall mental wellness.
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate
Incorporating these seven lifestyle factors and introducing these nutrient-rich foods into your diet can make a significant positive impact on your mental well-being as a driver. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as crucial as your physical health. By making these adjustments, you're not only safeguarding against depression but also enhancing your overall quality of life.