Business travellers picking up lots of unhealthy habits, report finds

A study by On Call International reveals the majority of work travellers say they are less likely to exercise when away from home.

Image credit: iStock
Image credit: iStock

A survey by travel risk management company On Call International has found that the majority of business travellers (54%) say they are less likely to exercise on a work trip compared to when they are not traveling.

To make matters worse, 44%  say they are more likely to eat unhealthy foods during business travel. More than a third of business travellers believe work-related travel makes them more stressed than normal, while 36% also reported having difficulty sleeping while on such trips.

"An unhealthy diet and a lack of regular exercise can have adverse consequences on a business traveller's wellbeing, often leading to, or worsening, serious health problems," said Dr. William Siegart, chief medical officer at On Call International.

"Stress can lead to headaches, gastrointestinal distress and chest pain. It can exacerbate nearly every pre-existing condition and can lead to the development or worsening of anxiety, depression, skin rashes, asthma, cardiovascular disease and more." 

A further 16% of those surveyed say they drink more on business trips, while eight per cent are more likely to smoke cigarettes. 

"These results are concerning, and it is up to both business travellers and their employers to turn the trend around," added Dr. Siegart.

"Organisations have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their travelling employees and should focus on mitigating the dangers of their travellers falling into unhealthy habits on the road.

"I would recommend hosting pre-travel health workshops to reinforce healthy travel behaviours such as eating right, finding time for quick, simple exercises that can be executed anywhere, and working to identify and manage their most frequent causes of stress."

If you want to read more about stress and mental health in the events industry, check out our two-part special feature.

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