Sunday, May 1, 2011

Business travel is bad for your health - Who knew?

I'm travellling to a conference for the next 3 or so days and my digestive system doesn't react well to irregular eating. I find myself already thinking of when I will be able to make it to the hotel gym, and when I can get proper meals while traveling - so the publication of this survey's results is timely.

As the report in the Economist points out - we love to read research about things we already think we know about:
This study is sure to join "old people prefer happy memories" and "siblings who fight don't get along" in the ranks of obvious scientific "discoveries." To her credit, the intrepid Ms Roan notes that the authors of the Columbia study acknowledge that "it's not hard to see how frequent travel can erode a person's health." You don't say! Road warriors work longer hours, get less exercise, eat worse, are more stressed, and have messed-up sleep schedules. It's not that surprising that we're less healthy. 
That may be so, but the interesting results of the research are that people who don't travel for work are not as healthy as people who travel 1 to 14 days a month. On the other hand, people who travel more than 14 days in a month are not as healthy as those that travel less. 

Better watch out - I have 11 days of travel scheduled for this month.

Sources: The Economist, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kansas City Star

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