Another excellent article citing the health impact of frequent business travel. While many aspects of business travel are outside of our control, there ARE things that can be done to reduce stress and improve health on your trip.
If you’re a road warrior for your company, you might not be a good candidate to be an actual warrior.
That’s because people who travel for business three weeks per month or more are almost twice as likely to be obese compared to workers that travel just one to six nights per month.
That’s one of the findings in a recent study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and City University of New York.
That’s only the start of the bad news for constant travelers, unfortunately. Higher blood pressure and lower high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) are also part of the package.
Spending just 14 or more nights away from home per month also seems to be too much. These near half-time travelers are significantly more likely to feel unhealthy, deal with anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence and have trouble sleeping. Higher levels of smoking and getting little or no exercise are also reported by regular business travelers.
The study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine was based on data from the health assessments of over 18,000 employees.
“Although only about 12 percent of employees in the data we looked at traveled for business 14 or more nights per month, the clustering of all these health conditions among extensive business travelers is worrying, both for their own health and the health of the organizations they work for,” writes lead study author Andrew Rundle in the Harvard Business Review.
Rundle and colleagues do offer some solutions that both employers and employees can undertake to make business travel more healthy and productive for all involved.
“At the individual level, employees who travel extensively need to take responsibility for the decisions they make around diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep,” Rundle explains. “However, to do this, employees will likely need support in the form of education, training, and a corporate culture that emphasizes healthy business travel.”
He suggests that employers and employees should choose business accommodations with access to healthy food options and decent exercise facilities (not your run-of-the-mill dinky and depressing hotel fitness room). Ideally, companies could provide employees memberships to national gym chains.
“Employers can also provide their business travelers training in a variety of stress management approaches and sleep hygiene techniques,” Rundle adds.
Finally, he says the best way to deal with the rough rigors of all that travel could be to consider cutting it out if it isn’t absolutely necessary to be there in person every time.
“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.”
[button link=”https://www.inc.com/eric-mack/frequent-business-travel-is-shockingly-unhealthy-according-to-an-eye-opening-scientific-study-but-it-doesnt-have-to-be.html” newwindow=”yes”] From Inc[/button]
You are traveling for business for a reason, and if you can’t perform at your best, it could cause you to lose the sale or impact the success of your event. What’s that worth to you? …And your business or event?
Employee retention and employee engagement are two critical issues that companies are facing today. Could increased stress be a contributing factor?
John has traveled to more than 26 countries with IBM (sales and training) over 30 years (he’s lived it) and is a Traditional Naturopath (natural health practitioner), meeting planner, consultant, and author. He has taught more than 4,000 people his actionable travel tips and stress management tools with rave reviews. There’s more to it than just exercise and eating healthy.
John is an expert in Wellness, especially when traveling, and will give your participants new information that they didn’t know about how to stay healthy. He is extremely responsive and easy to work with after 25+ years of conditioning by IBM.
You can expect a highly interactive and engaging presentation followed by actionable outcomes for all participants!