The View With Lou: Step up to the Healthy Fleet Challenge

Trucking is known for its long hours, time away from home and stressful situations – all of which can lead to unhealthy eating and exercise habits. And those unhealthy habits can ultimately result in illness and premature death for too many of our industry friends and associates.

Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in North America and being physically inactive boosts your chances of developing heart-related problems. Nearly 40% of the people on this continent do no spare-time physical activity at all. That figure is probably higher within the trucking industry, which requires long periods of sitting.

It’s time we tackled this issue head on. And it’s nowhere near as daunting as it may seem. Did you know that just 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity can improve your health and decrease your risk of heart disease? It’s something I would like everyone in our industry to know.

To spread the word, we have joined with Healthy Trucker (a division of NAL Insurance) to announce the Healthy Fleet Challenge. Our goal is to collectively have all industry partners walk a combined total of about 25,000 miles during the month of July – effectively circling the Earth – as a way to promote the importance of better health and wellness in the trucking industry.

Walking is an easy way to work physical activity into your regular routine. It’s something everyone can participate in and is that first critically important step towards a healthier lifestyle.

All fleets and allied trades are invited to participate in this event to promote the importance of getting more active. The entry fee for each team is a $1,000 donation with proceeds going to the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Make-A-Wish Canada. This isn’t a competition, although with team results posted on I think there will be a few fun rivalries heating up the month of July.

Each team can register up to 10 individuals (O/Os, drivers or employees) to participate in this event. To participate, team members will need to download an app to their iPhone or Android device, or purchase a Fitbit device, which will help track the steps participants take each day. I’ve already got my Fitbit. It’s easy to set up and I’ve been having a great time seeing my daily results (and making sure they’re higher than associate publisher Kathy Penner’s – not that we’re competitive with each other or anything).

Companies can register for the event at or call 855-422-8333.

Participants can upload their logo and team information to an online leader board to show their support of the event and see how they’re doing compared to other companies.

And they can turn to, TMTV, Truck News and our Twitter feeds for fun and educational updates on the challenge.

So let’s get ready for a fit and healthy summer and some great summer fun. Together we can make a healthier industry.

Lou Smyrlis can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6881 or by e-mail at You can also follow him on Twitter at

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With more than 25 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics.

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