Of the 3.6 million professional truck drivers moving your goods around the USA, 78% are obese and many are on short medical surveillance for sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure or diabetes. In many cases, both their self-care and self-esteem is non exist-ent and they are barreling down the highways; mostly at posted speeds and mostly safe but many are on what is called limited Medical Cards: 1 year or 6 months as op-posed to 2 years as in the past. A few are just one bad nights sleep or one missed BP pill away from not being in control of up to 80,000 lbs of truck and freight. In 2008 Con-way Freight, a transportation company of over 20,000 employees hired Dr. Bud Harris as an embedded Injury Prevention Health Coach servicing their 3 Oregon locations to consult and coach the truckers on holistic health topics and work to reverse their ele-vated levels of soft tissue injuries. Starting with just one trucker, Truckers to Triathletes (T2) now has a combined 100+ trucker triathletes and family in 10 companies, 17 quit smoking and a Peer led Stretch Program is implemented across the USA preventing hundreds of soft tissues injuries daily. www.t2ttri.com
Of the 3.6 million professional truck drivers moving your goods around the USA, 78% are obese and many are on short medical surveillance for sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure or diabetes. In many cases, both their self care and self-esteem is non existent and they are barreling down the highways; mostly at posted speeds and mostly safe but many of those are on what is called limited Medical Cards: 1 year or 6 months as opposed to 2 years as in the past. A few are just one bad nights sleep or one missed BP med away from not being in/out of control of up to 80,000 lbs of freight. In 2008 Con-way Freight, a company of over 20,000 transportation employees hired Dr. Bud Harris as an embedded Injury Prevention Health Coach servicing their 3 Oregon locations to consult and coach the truckers on holistic health topics and work to reverse their elevated levels of soft tissue injuries. Starting with just one trucker, Truckers to Triathletes (T2) now has a combined 100+ trucker triathletes and family in 10 companies, 17 quit smoking and a Peer led Stretch Program is implemented across the USA preventing hundreds of soft tissues injuries daily. Decide to Just Do Anything - consistently! my motto!
My AAS, BSM, MAOM, and PHD in Safety Engineering were completed mostly while my wife and daughters soundly slept or after working 10-12hrs. Yes, I took the hard way to find health promotion as my passion and spent the last 25 years in night school getting my 4 degrees and many Health & Wellness Certificates. I started using WELCOA tools in 2004. Today I am proud to say I am WELCOA and World Instructor Training Schools Faculty, (WITS) an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Wellcoaches Health Coach. WELCOA’s 7 benchmarks were fully implemented while at both Tyco and Con-way with cohesive wellness teams being the benchmark that both excelled and shined.
2012 Wellcoaches 10 year Anniversary 1st Annual Excellence Awards - 1 of only 2 Awards around the World
2012 Wellness Coaches USA 1st Annual Coaching Excellence Award for Innovation & Creativity
2011 American Heart Association Platinum Achievement Award - Fit Friendly Company
I received these 3 awards for founding and growing the National movement called Truckers to Triathletes which is a combined 100+ strong truckers, managers and their family members completing full or team triathlons now in 10 companies. See the 43 minute professional Truckers to Triathletes Documentary taken over 5 years by 4 video artists and dozens of cameras. www.truckerstotriathletes.com
In 2010, I inspired 45 truckers and their family members to complete the Shamrock 5K Walk run and 7 Triathlon teams that year competed in the T2T Team Relays. And in 2012 three T2T teams were sponsored by Pilot Flying J Americas largest and healthiest travel centers to travel and compete in Anderson S.C and in Portland, Ore. One T2T team took 2nd place in the team Rev3 Team Triathlon.
In 2006, I received the Intel Central Safety Committee Award for Starting a Wellness Program within a Safety Committee. I organized shift Ping Pong games, walking groups, basketball games and as a Personal Trainer, trained fellow employees at the site gym before/after work and at lunch breaks.
In 2005, I received the TYCO Electronics International Health & Safety Excellence Award North American Nominee - for designing a Health & Wellness Program called Ergowell Strength & Stretch where employees were expected and given time to stretch during their shift in the site gym. I lowered the injury rate 27% within 12 months and increased gym membership from 200 to 500 during that time.
In 2005, I won the National Association for Health & Fitness (NAHF) State Governors Council, National Gold Star Award for Developing the FULL Heath Promotion Day at the Bi-Annual Governor’s Occupational Safety Health Conference, the largest in the west.
In 2005, I received the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) while at Tyco Electronics. As the Health & Safety Engineer, we were awarded this prestigious Health & Safety Excellence Award for EHS Programs and Ergonomic Improvements using stretching and gym usage to cut ergonomic related injury costs that totaled $4.4mil.
In 2005, I received the REI $5K Community Outreach Grant for developing the Ready Riders Rock Youth MTN Biking Program and I bought 10 MTN Bikes and City of Hillsboro Parks donated $3K trailer and a vehicle and currently Certify Ready Riders to mentor health and wellness, trail stewardship and safe biking within their peer groups.
By 2009, using a model from Intel Corp, I implemented a peer led Certified Stretch Program known as S3 - Stability, Strength, Stretch made up of drivers, supervisors and mechanics. By 2010, a combined 24 Certified Stretch Leaders were leading stretching at all 10 shift start up meetings. Many of the larger Con-way terminals across the USA today do the stretching daily to prevent soft tissue injuries. Lost time Low back soft tissue claims went from 6 per year to zero over an 18 month period at the UPO CNW terminal.
I have been considered an expert in this field since 2005 and I know that all eyes remain on me always and believe me, it is taken seriously. My success in health promotion reach and impact speaks for itself. My Con-way Director of Operators said it so simply: “ Dr. Bud, your body of work speaks for itself; you are valued greatly around here.” ~ Mark Gantenbein. I completed my 1st IronMan70.3 at age 50, have completed 25 triathlons with the T2T truckers and will run the 2015 Portland Marathon with two T2T truckers who each will have lost 100 lbs by then. I bike commute mostly and eat whole foods.
Our Art of Health promotion in the USA looks bright and compelling although the media paints it not so rosy sometimes with its hype of diabetes and obesity. I believe in people; Americans especially. We always find a way to rally. I predict by 2020, a sea change will be in full swing in diet and activity levels of our kids. And in turn, the ripple affect will move parents to do the right thing and start to shop responsibly. Workplaces soon will all be doing pre shift stretching and wellness will be the new metric displacing absenteeism and presentism. Morale will share the productivity and yield metric slide.
What threatens our industry is continually buying into new fads and sexier ways of doing things. We must stick with what has passed the test of time. And that is really teaching health challenged populations to: Couple their heads with their hearts (set goals), finally engage their hamstrings (design both an effective and efficient) action plan to accomplish those unique and metered goals and objectives. Back to the basics will prevail. I lean on WELCOA to turn on the flashlight, light the candle and help me help myself and my team lead the way. “Decide to Just Do Anything - Consistently! ~ Dr. Bud