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HOW TO AVOID TAXI DRIVER BURNOUT: Stay healthier and happier as a taxi driver

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Taxi drivers face many challenges in their work, such as long and irregular hours, traffic congestion, stress, and exposure to air pollution. These factors can affect their physical and mental health, leading to burnout, fatigue, and increased risk of diseases. However, there are some simple steps that taxi drivers can take to prevent burnout and improve their wellbeing.

Eat well

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining energy levels, concentration, and immune system. However, many taxi drivers rely on fast food, snacks, and sugary drinks to keep them going during their shifts. These foods are high in fat, salt, sugar, and calories, and low in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They can cause weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, and digestive issues

To eat well, taxi drivers could:

  • Plan ahead and prepare their own healthy meals and snacks. Some examples are wholegrain sandwiches, salads, fruits, nuts, yoghurt, and water.

  • Avoid skipping breakfast, as it can help them start the day with energy and prevent overeating later.

  • Choose healthier options at fuel stations and delis, such as cold sandwiches with vegetables, low-fat cheese or lean meat, and dark chocolate with high cacao content.

  • Limit the intake of fried foods, burgers, pizzas, pastries, sweets, crisps, and fizzy drinks.

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration headaches.

Sleep well

Sleep is vital for restoring the body and mind after a long day of work. Lack of sleep can impair alertness, reaction time, memory, mood, and judgement. It can also increase the risk of accidents, errors, and injuries. Moreover, sleep apnoea, a condition that causes breathing pauses during sleep, is more common among taxi drivers than other occupations. It can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, headaches, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

To sleep well, taxi drivers could:

  • Aim for at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and heavy meals before bedtime.

  • Create a comfortable and quiet sleeping environment.

  • Seek medical advice if they have symptoms of sleep apnoea or other sleep disorders.

Exercise well

Exercise is important for keeping the body fit and strong. It can also boost mood, reduce stress, improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and prevent or manage chronic diseases. However, many taxi drivers do not get enough exercise due to their sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time can cause muscle stiffness, back pain, joint problems, poor posture, and varicose veins.

To exercise well, taxi drivers could:

  • Do some stretching and warm-up exercises before starting their shift.

  • Take advantage of breaks and downtime to do some physical activity.

  • Some examples are walking around the block or up the stairs, jogging on the spot or doing star jumps, or using a tennis ball to massage their back muscles.

  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Some examples are brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or playing sports like football or golf.

  • Find an exercise buddy or join a group or class to stay motivated and have fun.


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