Rolling Strong Photo: Rolling Strong
A view of some of the features of the Rolling Strong wellness app.

Smartphone apps help build a health community

Sometimes it takes additional motivation to get in that workout or avoid the temptation of comfort food after a long day of driving. That is where smartphone apps come in, creating interactive trucker-focused wellness communities. One is from Rolling Strong, which offers nutrition tips, exercise programs, and the ability to connect with a health coach.

“We are not trying to get people into cross fit, but some movement can go a long way,” said Stephen Kane, president of Rolling Strong.

Nutritional guidance includes meal suggestions at truck stops as well as daily food logs with calorie counters. Exercise routines can be customized for desired duration and intensity level.

Kane also stressed the importance of hydration. 

“It is a huge factor in all of this,” he emphasized, adding that drinking water is a frequent reminder on the app.  

Another wellness smartphone app is Healthy Trucker, created by NAL Insurance of Canada after seeing a jump in medical claims from truck drivers. A central component of the program is the “Healthy Fleet Challenge,” which initially focused on counting steps. While it was popular, “we weren’t getting the results we wanted,” said Andrea Morley, lead nutritionist and health coach.

The focus of the ongoing challenges  has shifted to how to eat at truck stops, exercise tips, stress management, and mental health. Participants can share their own meals and workouts. Morley said the added motivation of sharing their goals has helped “the results become that much better.” 

During a two-month period earlier this year, John Bos of Brian Kurtz Trucking lost 22 lbs. by cutting out fried foods, drinking more water, and walking at least 8,000 steps a day.

Truckers like Bos show that “no matter how set in your ways you may be, you can always make a change and work for better health,” Morley said. 

The wellness apps also are designed to make in-person health assistance more accessible. For example, earlier this year Rolling Strong partnered with medical technology firm Higi to deliver on-the-road access to more than 11,000 self-screening health stations across the United States. The stations allow truck drivers to measure, track, and share their biometric health data. 

“By connecting with truck drivers at one of our 11,000 self-screening health stations across America, we can be a valuable conduit toward helping them stay their healthiest while on the road,” said Higi CEO Jeff Bennett. 

An additional Rolling Strong partnership with Enrollment First Inc. gives owner-operators and fleets with independent contractors the chance to automatically receive medical insurance benefits.

“With Enrollment First, we can offer a proactive approach to medical benefits that gives drivers a better chance to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” Kane said.

Enrollment First provides wellness and preventive visits without a co-pay or deductible, as well as optional dental and vision coverage, life insurance, and other options. 

Rolling Strong’s efforts have earned it a spot on the Nation’s Best and Brightest in Wellness list by the National Association for Business Resources. 

The honor “is validation of how highly effective our mobile health and wellness platform can be for the trucking industry’s drivers,” Kane said.

More on health: truck stops respond with operational changes.  

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