Business travel has its perks. The chance to see different places, stay in high quality hotels and eat out at the company’s expense. It’s a great opportunity to meet partners and clients face to face and get real interaction with your market.
Yet the long days, restaurant meals, and taxis to every appointment can easily have a detrimental effect on your health, especially for those who do it regularly. A recent report in the Harvard Business Review collected the data on this and the results make grim reading for the business traveler. The data comes from the comprehensive health assessments of thousands of American employees who travel for business.
Business Travel Can Impact Your Health
Those away from home for 14 or more days per month reported a series of health issues. Body Mass Index (BMI) was higher, anxiety, depression, and smoking habits were more likely and travellers reported doing little or no physical exercise. Those who spent three-quarters of their time away from home reported even more concerning health defects. Significantly, this group reported obesity rates 92% higher than those who engaged in infrequent business travel.
Knock-on effects of these physical, behavioural and mental health issues were also identified. Most notably, these were reduced productivity and performance and the potential to strain client and supplier relationships.
The report recommends a number of remedies to avoid business travel seriously damaging your health. Among the most important is educating employees that calorie consumption is generally higher when travelling for work. This is due to restaurant meals generally being higher in calories, as well as fast food. Therefore the report recommends a combination of dietary monitoring and introducing or maintaining an exercise regime while travelling.
However, not all hotels have gyms and not all hotels that do have good enough facilities to provide a satisfying experience. Large corporations have explored building relationships with gym chains but these have rarely provided the comprehensive coverage and ease of use required.
Technology makes finding a gym easier
The advent of technology is making business travel seemingly less essential. However, according to American Express Global Business Travel, 2016 still saw over 500 million business trips in the US alone. The personal interaction that face to face contact brings is still valued by businesses worldwide. The test, therefore, is how to ensure business travel doesn’t worsen our health.
Business travellers are instead turning to technological solutions to maintain a good exercise regime away from home. Apps like TrainAway help those on the road to find a gym in a new city, and buy a day pass where administration and language barriers may previously have provided impediments.
TrainAway is committed to helping you maintain an active and healthy lifestyle even if you’re away from home. With a database of over 140,000 gyms worldwide, TrainAway can help you find a gym wherever you are. Read our ‘4 tips for staying fit while travelling’ for more advice.
Source: ‘Just How Bad Is Business Travel for Your Health? Here’s the Data.’ Harvard Business Review, May 31 2018