Frequent Business Travel Linked to Increased Health Risks

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  1. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

    Frequent Business Travel Linked to Increased Health Risks
    April 22, 2011
    Higher Rates of Poor Health and Obesity for Extensive Travelers

    People who travel extensively for business have increased rates of poor health and health risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure, reports a study in the April Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

    Catherine A. Richards, MPH, and Andrew G. Rundle, DrPH, of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University compared health risks for employees at different levels of business travel, using data on more than 13,000 employees from a corporate wellness program. Close to 80 percent of the employees traveled at least one night per month. Nearly one percent were “extensive travelers” — on the road more than 20 nights per month.

    Employees who did not travel at all were actually a less-healthy group. Compared to light travelers (one to six nights per month), non-travelers were about 60 percent more likely to rate their health as fair to poor. This may reflect a “healthy worker effect,” with employees who have health problems being less likely to travel.

    Otherwise, rates of less-than-good health increased along with nights of travel. Extensive travelers were 260 percent more likely to rate their health as fair to poor, compared to light travelers.

    Other health risk factors showed similar patterns: obesity was 33 percent more likely non-travelers and 92 percent more likely for extensive travelers. The same two groups were also more likely to have high blood pressure and unfavorable cholesterol levels.

    Although business travel is often equated with long airline flights, relatively short business trips in personal cars are much more common. Several factors could contribute to health risks in frequent business travelers — for example, poor sleep, fattening foods, and long periods of inactivity.

    More research is needed to substantiate the link between frequent business travel and increased health risks. Meanwhile, the authors suggest some steps that companies can take to help employees stay healthy while they're on the road — for example, offering stress management classes, selecting hotels with gym facilities, or tying meal reimbursements to healthier food choices.
     
  2. mhnadel
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    Isn't this pretty unsurprising? A mixture of stress, lack of free time to exercise and those too big restaurant meals make it tougher on those of us who travel a lot.
     
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  3. sdcarver
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    I would imagine you can control this with a little willpower and flexibility when it comes to eating, exersising, and stretching...

    sdcarver
     
  4. uggboy
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    Business travel can be stress, but I believe the right mix of work // stress release // food // hotels and self respect can help to overcome the negative aspects. ;)
     
  5. Colonel G
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    You mean people are actually eating all that "good" airline food?:eek:
     
  6. uggboy
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    Sometimes food on airlines isn't that bad, a few weeks ago I had some really high quality offerings during our flight from Seoul to Amsterdam // Shiphol.:)
     
  7. TRAVELSIG
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    Don't touch it if you want to feel good on landing.
     
  8. uggboy
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    What do you eat on a long haul flight?
     
  9. TRAVELSIG
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    A salad if anything at all- and a couple of large bottles of mineral water to drink.
    I prefer to eat prior to flying or on arrival if at all possible.
     
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  10. uggboy
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    Sounds good and reasonable, salad and water, the right choice on every flight.
    Indeed, we have also dinned before and often after a flight. Sometimes not possible of course, or as we found out on some airports the food // drinks on the ground are not to our taste // or simply the quality was lacking too.

    As written above in an earlier post, I have had a great chicken dish on our flight from Seoul to AMS with KLM. This was the first dish served during our flight and it was really good // the second dish // a pasta dish on the other hand was not good compared to the first one.

    In our experience how to eat before // during // after a flight depends really on our taste // the airport // which airline we fly with. Drinking water is a must at all times however and getting some vegetables too.
     

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