Long haul truck drivers' views on the barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and physical activity: A qualitative study

Deborah G. Passey, Riann Robbins, Kurt T. Hegmann, Ulrike Ott, Matt Thiese, Arun Garg, Anita Kinney, Maureen A. Murtaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore truck drivers' views toward diet, physical activity, and health care access to inform the development of a weight loss intervention. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted four focus groups via teleconference (one) or in person (three). Each focus group included eight to ten truck drivers. Sessions were digitally recorded and transcribed. The authors used thematic analysis of the participant responses to develop themes and subthemes. Findings - Truck drivers desired good health, however, many knowledge gaps were identified. Drivers were aware of some healthy foods, but lacked knowledge of appropriate energy intake and healthy weight. Drivers expressed many barriers to eating healthy food and engaging in physical activity on the road. Participants suggested strategies and resources to improve their diet and increase physical activity. Research limitations/implications - This qualitative study included a convenience sample of 30 long-haul truck drivers. Consensus of themes and subthemes was achieved by four sessions. Issues facing long-haul truck drivers may be different than other truck drivers. Additional qualitative research should be conducted along with interventions focussed on healthy behaviors that can be implemented in the mobile working environment. Originality/value - This is the first focus group study of truck drivers that targets eating and physical activity. Future weight loss intervention designs should address the lack of knowledge and skills. To succeed, interventions should implement strategies to address perceived barriers: access, time limitations, and high cost of healthy lifestyle habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17112743
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Commercial truck driving
  • Diet
  • Health
  • Obesity
  • Occupational hazard
  • Physical activity


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