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The SHIFT programme, which stands for Structured Health Intervention For Truckers, has been designed to support lorry drivers to take steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Previous research has highlighted that HGV drivers have a high risk of ill health.

Lorry drivers who take part in the programme attend a six-hour, interactive education session about healthy eating and physical activity, and are provided with physical activity monitors to track their movement and engage in ‘step count challenges’ with other drivers. They are also given exercise equipment and a workout routine that can be used in their cabs at service stations and other resting places.

Participants receive three health assessments across 12 months. Assessments included in the health check include blood pressure, body weight, body fat levels, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, hand grip strength and physical activity levels. After each health assessment the participants will receive a comprehensive report including all their results. They will also be provided with strategies to make small, realistic changes to help with their health and future wellbeing.

Participants will join a small group of approximately 8-10 fellow lorry drivers to take part in the SHIFT education programme. This will be held at the depot and will last approximately six hours. Trained facilitators will help to provide the participants the up-to-date information about food, activity and health issues relating lorry drivers as well as lifestyle choices and how these can be managed.

The study is being conducted by researchers within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research which is linked to the NHS and supports research which aims to improve people’s health.

The SHIFT study was a finalist in the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards 2018. Find out more here.

The team

For further information about this study please contact Veronica Varela-Mato, Stacy Clemes or James King, the lead investigators of this study.

Dr Veronica Varela Mato – Email: Phone: 01509 226634

Dr Stacy Clemes – Email: Phone: 01509 228170

Dr James King – Email: Phone: 01509 228457

Further reading

Varela Mato et al. 2018. The Impact of a Novel Structured Health Intervention for Truckers (SHIFT) on Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2018 – Volume 60 – Issue 4 – p 368–376 doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001128

Varela Mato et al. 2018. A Structured Health Intervention for Truckers (SHIFT): A Process Evaluation of a Pilot Health Intervention in a Transport Company Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2018 – Volume 60 – Issue 4 – p 377–385 doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001258

For more information on the background and funding of the project please click here.