|Even the scenic beauty of a North Idaho summer cannot lure some long-haul truck drivers far from their rigs during rest stops near Coeur d'Alene.|
Opportunities for exercise await at the green rest areas along the interstate, or at truck stops, but some drivers say they are too tired, hungry, or time-constrained to use them despite potential benefits to body and mood.
"In summer we try and walk, but honestly, you eat," said long-haul driver Serena McNamara at the Flying J truck stop in Post Falls in July.
McNamara, 43, has been driving for three years with her husband, Robert, an 18-year trucking veteran. The pair have not seen their Reno, Nev., home in four months. Their wheels roll 24 hours a day, except for fueling and for mandated 30-minute breaks every eight hours. One sleeps while the other drives.
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers held about 1,585,300 jobs nationally according to the most recent estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Tractor-trailer truckers are typically long-haul drivers who deliver goods over intercity or interstate routes in trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds. They drive for long periods and sleep away from home, sometimes for weeks or months at a time.
McNamara said both she and Robert suffer from "trucker's leg." The neuromuscular condition piriformis syndrome, sometimes called "wallet sciatica," can be caused by prolonged sitting. It causes pain and a characteristic limp, a result of nerve...