'Groundbreaking' initiative aims to improve driver health at Ryans Transport


Ryans Transport adopts a healthy driver diet approach thanks to innovative program that aims to change eating habits

'Groundbreaking' initiative aims to improve driver health at Ryans Transport
'Groundbreaking' initiative aims to improve driver health at Ryans Transport
By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | November 14, 2013

Ryans Transport is adopting a healthy driver diet approach thanks to an innovative program that aims to change eating habits.

The Victorian family-owned transport firm has teamed with Warrnambool’s health centre, Great South Coast Medicare Local (GSCML), to trial a health program to promote active living and healthy diets.

Initial health checks have been carried out on 75 drivers and 45 have signed up for the two-year program, which will teach drivers about healthier food choices and give them access to discussion groups and a dietitian who will create food diaries for them.

"It’s about looking at everything from diet to exercise to whether they are at risk of certain diseases," Ryans Specialised Services Manager Richard Van Bergeijk says of the program.

"This program tries to tailor in a confidential environment where drivers can use real information to help make better choices.

"It’s an opportunity for us to add value to our people – it’s groundbreaking."

Out of the drivers assessed, 75 per cent had higher than normal blood pressure and nearly 80 per cent had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of disease.

Some 83 per cent did not eat enough vegetables and 60 per cent needed to eat more fruit.

Around 30 per cent of them are smokers, and 41 per cent were experiencing moderate to high levels of psychological distress.

More than 30 per cent come home from work tired and often worn out, with 28 per cent regularly turning to alcohol to relax.

More than half spend between nine to 18 hours sitting each day and only 30 per cent exercise for more than 30 minutes on five or more days.

Nearly 90 per cent of the respondents were men.


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