Great West Casualty Company Blog

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Entries related to: health-and-wellness

Understanding the risks of obesity

Obesity and being overweight are two common health risks facing truck drivers. Obesity means having too much body fat, while a person can be overweight due to too much muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. If a person consumes more calories than he/ she burns, those extra calories are stored as fat. Over time, if life changes are not made, that excess body fat will continue to increase until a person reaches obesity. When that happens, there is an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. The good news is that obesity is reversible in most cases, by eating and drinking smarter and increasing your physical activity. Consider the chart below and ask yourself where the majority of your daily calories are coming from.
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Combatting Substance Abuse

Substance abuse involves more than taking illegal drugs. It also includes misusing alcohol, prescription medications, and other legal substances if too much is taken or in the wrong way. Unlike an addiction – which is a disease – individuals can stop abusing substances if they choose to before their unhealthy behavior becomes an addiction or causes serious health problems. Read the information below about commonly abused substances and the health risks each pose. If you feel you might have a substance abuse problem, seek assistance immediately.
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Focus on Mindfulness to Improve Driving

With the advent of more and more technologies competing for our attention, it is becoming more difficult for humans to sift through a swarm of distractions and focus on those items that are worth paying attention to. For motor carriers, whose survival hinges on preventing crashes, driver distractions and inattention are not new. They are old enemies. Preaching to drivers to pay attention and focus on the road ahead is nothing new, yet preventable crashes still occur, leaving a motor carrier’s management team members scratching their heads in frustration. One solution, and arguably the solution to the distracted driving problem, is simple mindfulness.
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Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls are leading causes of workplace injuries. No matter where you are, hazards may be present that put you at risk of losing traction and slipping, tripping over an object, or falling from an elevated position. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to protect yourself from a slip, trip, or fall.
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Managing Stress

Stress can manifest itself in many ways and negatively affect your mood, body, and behavior. Read the information below about the symptoms of stress to see if any apply to you. Even if you are not feeling stress now, try applying one or more of the stress management techniques to your daily routine as a preventive measure.
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Exercise

Persons who sit for long periods of time, lead sedentary lifestyles, or work in high-stress environments are prone to many serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, deep vein thrombosis, and more. Exercise is a great solution. It can help you feel better, boost your energy, manage your weight, and prevent work-related injuries.
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Healthy Eating

Healthy eating on the road is essential for maintaining a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) and helping your body function at peak performance. The key is to remember that healthy eating involves portion control and choosing foods wisely. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to make eating decisions that facilitate better health.
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Skin Protection

The health of your skin is vital to your overall health. Skin, the body’s largest organ, makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is important to your bones and other body parts. However, too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage or cancer. Negative effects on skin can be sunburns, sagging skin, mottled skin, or cancerous melanomas; so protecting your skin is more important than getting a nice tan. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to protect your skin and avoid preventable damage.
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Hydration

One of the leading causes of a heat-related illness is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the body does not get the amount of water it needs to function properly. The body naturally loses water through urination, sweating, crying, spitting, exercising, and breathing. Water can also be lost due to illness (i.e., fever, vomiting, etc.) and taking diuretics. To avoid possible health problems, you must be able to recognize the hazards that can lead to dehydration and know how to protect yourself. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to keep your body sufficiently hydrated.
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Heat-related Illness

A heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or sun stroke, occurs when the body cannot cool itself sufficiently and blood rushes to the skin's surface. When less blood reaches your muscles, organs, and brain, it can lead to physical and mental health problems, or even death. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to protect yourself.
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