Business travel ‘not worth it’ due to toll on health, says study


TRAVELLING as part of your job is a big perk, but frequent trips are actually shockingly bad for your health.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York, people who travel for business more than three weeks per month are more likely to become obese, compared to those who travel just one to six nights per month.

This is due to unhealthy or few food options and the lack of time or facility to exercise.

Business travelers who jet off for two weeks to a month at a time are also more likely to have trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights monthly. The sleeplessness could manifest in many things: physical, mental, and behavioral changes due to poor health.

Aside from weight gain (which could lead to cardiovascular and blood pressure issues), mental health issues such as anxiety and depression may also result from the trips. This could lead to excessive smoking and alcohol dependency.

Mailman School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology Andrew Rundle, who led the study, said, “business travel can surely be educational and even fun, not to mention necessary for many people. But the wear and tear resulting from constant trips may not be altogether worth it.”

Rundle wrote that the physical and mental conditions among extensive business travelers may even harm the overall health of the organisations they work for.

Health problems among employees can result in low productivity levels, poor performance, short-term disabilities, and medical claim costs.

How to keep yourself in check?

By choosing to travel the healthier and more productive way.

Other than taking responsibility for the decisions you make while you’re on a business trip about food, exercise, alcohol, and sleep, you can also pick and choose which trips to go for.

Skip those that are not as urgent and opt to Skype into a meeting instead. You’ll save time, money, and most of all lower the risk of mental and physical health complications.

Employers should also give employees who travel extensively all the support they would need, including training their workers to manage stress better.

Perhaps throw in accommodations that have access to physical activity facilities and healthy food options.

Source: Business travel ‘not worth it’ due to toll on health, says study

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