Dr Stacy Clemes and Dr Iuliana Hartescu

Dr Stacy Clemes, Reader in Active Living and Public Health, Loughborough University

Dr Stacy Clemes is a Reader in Active Living and Public Health at Loughborough University. Her expertise focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours within and outside of the workplace, with a particular focus on transport workers.

Stacy has been leading research focusing on promoting health within occupational drivers for over eight years, and has recently completed a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded study which examined the impact of the SHIFT programme in heavy goods vehicle drivers.

In 2018/19, Stacy was part of the Sedentary Behaviour Expert Working Group for the 2019 UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines review.

Dr Iuliana Hartescu, Lecturer in Psychology, Loughborough University

Dr Iuliana Hartescu is a Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University. Iuliana has expertise in the impact of environment and lifestyle on sleep quality.

Her work has included evaluating the impact of community-based exercise interventions for chronic insomnia, and research into sleep and metabolic health in the MRC-funded Biomedical Research Unit.

Currently, Iuliana’s work is focussed on sleep health and includes laboratory studies, epidemiological surveys, and clinical trials. She is a co-author of the digital sleep improvement programme and app Sleepful.

Presentation: Improving health and sleep quality management in our commercial driver population

Commercial vehicle drivers’ working environment provides limited opportunities for a healthy lifestyle with unhealthy lifestyle behaviours (e.g. lack of physical activity, high levels of sitting, poor dietary choices, sleep deprivation) prevalent in this occupational group. Consequently, these drivers exhibit higher than nationally representative rates of obesity, and obesity-related co-morbidities, and are underserved in terms of health promotion initiatives.

Researchers at Loughborough University, in partnership with commercial vehicle drivers and health and safety managers, have developed the ‘Structured Health Intervention For Truckers (SHIFT)’ – a multicomponent, theory driven, health behaviour intervention designed to promote positive lifestyle changes in relation to physical activity, diet, and sitting in commercial drivers. The first part of this presentation will provide an overview of the health profile of a sample of HGV drivers in England, followed by an outline of the SHIFT programme and its impact on drivers activity levels, and the research team’s plans to translate the programme into a scalable CPC module for all drivers.

The presentation will then go on to introduce ongoing research focussing on the development of an intervention to improve the sleep quality of commercial drivers. Commercial drivers report high levels of inadequate, disorganised, and disordered sleep, related to occupational and lifestyle factors, and directly linked to road safety.

Despite the potential for health and safety benefits, studies evaluating sleep improvement interventions among commercial drivers are scarce, and show equivocal results. Our aim therefore is to develop a sleep improvement intervention, which integrates well established sleep science components, whilst accounting for the challenges facing the mobile and dispersed workforce of commercial drivers.