Is Business Travel Bad?

Obesity and heart disease may be linked to heavy business travel

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Are you a person that does a lot of traveling for work? Did you ever think that the amount of travel you did for work could affect your health? 

Employees that travel frequently have higher body mass indexes (BMI), lower HDL (good cholesterol), and higher diastolic pressure.

Researchers have found a link between business travel and health risks in relation to cardiovascular disease.

"Watch your diet during business travel."

Andrew G. Rundle and Catherine A. Richards headed a Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health study to determine if business travel impacted the health risks associated with cardiovascular disease. Medical records for 13,000 employees were examined.

Researchers found that many people are traveling in automobiles which cause long hours of sitting and an increased likelihood of poor food choices. Results indicated people who traveled 20 or more days a month were less healthy than those who traveled between 1 to 6 days a month.

The results were similar for employees that never travel for work. This could be the due to the fact that people that have poor health are less likely to travel. With this information workplaces should encourage employees that travel often to monitor their health.

The Study

  • Researchers examined medical records of over 13,000 employees for body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, self-related health, and cholesterol levels
  • The average BMI for extensive travelers were 27.5 kg/m2 versus 26.1 kg/m2 for light travelers
  • The average HDL for extensive travelers were 53.3 mg/DL in comparison to 56.1 mg/DL for light travelers
  • The average diastolic pressure for extensive travelers were 76.2 mmHG in comparison to 74.6 mmHG for light travelers
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 2, 2011
Last Updated:
May 3, 2011