BUSINESS TRAVEL – THREAT TO HEALTH

Anna Luebke - May 9, 2011
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A recent study conducted by researchers from Columbia University in the U.S. revealed a direct link between business travel and health problems it causes.

 

The April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a study conducted by two researchers at the prestigious Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Catherine A. Richards and Andrew G. Rundle studied a group of 13,000 people and reviewed their data. Key focus of their study was to establish whether there was a direct connection between business travel and health problems. Their conclusion clearly links the two and also suggests possible ways to limit the health risks.

The study group focused on people who traveled between one and twenty nights per month. It became clear that the more people travel on business, the worse their health conditions are. For example, obesity is 92% more common in the cases of frequent travelers. The problem is connected with eating habits as well. High cholesterol and blood pressure have become common as business travel often epitomizes lack of sleep, unhealthy diet and unusual levels of stress.

Interestingly, the study also took into account the health of non-travelers who often belonged to the less-healthy group. Richards and Rundle associate this fact with the 'healthy worker effect'; employees with existing health problems will not be able to travel in the first place.

What the study suggests is to launch employee education programs which will help business travelers with improving their diet, managing stress more effectively, and selecting better hotels with facilities like gyms or pools. In short, help the employees gain a better life style while on the road.

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