by Sean Kilcarr

seanTrying to solve the ongoing truck driver shortage might have just gotten more difficult. Not only must the trucking industry wrestle with how to make pay, home time, and work conditions more attractive for the next generation of big rig operators, it’ll now have to deal with a negative perception that driving a truck for long stretches can lead to a significant increase in the risk of certain kinds of colon-related cancers in men.

A study conducted by Christine Sardo Molmenti, Ph.D., M.P.H., a post-doctoral research fellow in the Dept. of Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, released at the annual meeting of the American Assn. for Cancer Research this fall determined that sedentary behavior boosts the risks of colorectal cancer.

Molmenti’s team found that men who reported spending more than 11.38 hours a day engaged in sedentary behaviors were 45% more likely to experience colorectal adenoma recurrence compared with men who reported fewer than 6.9 sedentary hours a day.

The study did not address truck drivers specifically, but a connection will certainly be made.

Thanks to emissions regulations, the industry is finally getting past the stigma of “dirty diesel” increasing cancer risk, and now the industry has this to overcome as it tries to solve the driver shortage. If it’s not one obstacle to overcome, it’s another.