Get Your Life in Gear

Get Your Life in Gear was a 12-week intervention developed using a social marketing approach. The aim of the programme was to support truck drivers to eat healthily, lead physically active lives, and attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

cartoon truck driver reading a mapDevelopment began in July 2008 and was based on formative research undertaken with truck drivers in various locations on the island of Ireland. The pilot commenced in October 2009 and was launched in a workplace and service station in Northern Ireland and a service station with accompanying restaurant in the Republic of Ireland. 

What is Get Your Life in Gear?

Research showed that access to a health check at a convenient time and location would motivate truck drivers to think positively about making healthier choices whilst at work. Therefore Get Your Life in Gear used an initial health check as an incentive to encourage truck drivers to participate in a 12-week programme.

At the first health check drivers were given the opportunity to get their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked. Drivers in NI recieved their body composition measurements and in ROI were told their BMI. All the drivers were given advice based on thier results and introduced to the Get Your Life in Gear programme. 

Participants received a starter pack consisting of a:

  • Get Your Life in Gear kitCool bag - To encourage healthy eating on the road
  • A booklet - The Road to Good Health, containing parctical tips specific to the needs of those who drive for a living 
  • A pedometer - To encourage physical activity
  • Tape measure - So they could measure their waist
  • Pen 
  • A bottle of water. 

Participants were also given the option of receiving motivational text messages each week for the duration of the programme. Drivers were also encouraged to take part in a walking challenge with a chance to win vouchers. At the end of the programme period, participants were invited to return for a follow-up health check.

Outcomes

Much was learned from the Get Your Life in Gear pilot programme in terms of engaging men with their health. We have put together a Get Your Life in Gear pack for anyone interested in working with truck drivers or similar groups. It may help you get started and perhaps you can tailor some of the resources/approaches to suit your own target group.

Resources available

Sample of promotional material

Healthy Eating posterHealth Check Poster