Gym at trucking company about more than physical fitness

A Charlottetown transportation company has included a gym in its new building for its truckers, and is finding the benefits go beyond keeping its employees healthy.

Seafood Express vice president Andy Keith said the gym is creating a stronger sense of community in the company.

"All our drivers are a lot happier," said Keith.

"They're getting engaged with the staff more and getting their own groups of friends within the truckers, and it's proven to be really great."

The company also helps truck drivers make healthy meal plans and offers tips on how to eat well on the road.

It drives interest in these programs by offering competitions that challenge drivers to make healthy choices.

'You don't do much activity'

Driver Kevan Findley appreciates the gym at the company and uses it often.

"It's wonderful," said Kevan.

"Being on the road 24/7, it's hard to do that when you come home. At least you can do 45 minutes or so before you come home, so it's a good thing."

He said the trucking lifestyle is not conducive to healthy eating and exercise, and he makes a big effort on both.

"Doing this job, you don't do much activity, physically," he said.

Al MacCormick/CBC

"You barely get enough time to move around," he said.

"As a truck driver you're always rushing so it doesn't give you that breathing space to do much exercise." 

Findley doesn't tuck into big truck-stop meals on the road, either. He makes meals at home and stores them in a small fridge provided by the company in its trucks. 

"You definitely have to watch what you eat," he said.

The P.E.I. Trucking Sector Council said Seafood Express is not alone in this initiative. It says some larger fleets on P.E.I. are doing similar things to help keep drivers healthy, and that it's become more common over the last few years.

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