New driver wellness program

June 30, 2006
Harrisburg, PA-based Occupational Athletics ( has recently introduced an interactive health and safety program developed especially for professional truck drivers

Harrisburg, PA-based Occupational Athletics ( has recently introduced an interactive health and safety program developed especially for professional truck drivers. Called The Road Athlete System (RAS), the self-paced program covers 12 lifestyle factors, including nutrition, physical exercise, mental fitness, stress reduction, attitude and happiness, sleep, substance abuse, time management, motivation, disease prevention, weight/obesity and relaxation.

Unlike traditional how-to handbooks, RAS presents each lifestyle lesson as a 20-day long “game,” according to author, Susan Shapiro.

“Drivers can begin any place in the program,” she says. “They read one page a day and complete one goal. By the end of 20 days, they have completed a mini-program about what they need to do personally to develop a healthier lifestyle. Fleets that implement the program for their drivers often organize drivers into teams to provide peer support and make the game more fun. We know that lifestyle contributes to poor health for truck operators,” she adds. “We really want to help create a culture of wellness at companies.”

According to the company, the Road Athlete Interactive Health and Safety System has been endorsed by the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) and the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA). The system includes a 12-month, interactive game book, two audio CDs, four quarterly utilization survey cards, a laminated card of stretching exercises and ruler, plus telephone follow-up. An optional train-the-trainer manual and training modules for RAS instructor certification are also available.

The system is sold singly or in larger quantities and volume discounts are available; orders can be placed through the National Academy of DOT Medical Examiners (, NATMI (, and Transportation Intermediaries Assn. (

To comment on the article, write to Wendy Leavitt at
[email protected]

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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