MS Queen Victoria pictured in Port Victoria

By Demola Ojo

High stress and taking less exercise are two results of travel for business, says a new survey. The report, by travel risk management company On Call International and based on a Google Consumer Survey of 1,000 frequent business travellers, suggests that work trips disrupt normal routines with 54 per cent of business travellers less likely to exercise while away and 44 per cent more likely to eat unhealthy foods.

A further 36 per cent of business travellers believe that work-related travel makes them more stressed than normal, with the same number suffering from difficulty sleeping while away.

“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. In addition to this, chronic and acute stress can cause several issues for a business traveller that can lead to deterioration of health and a decrease in work productivity and performance while on the road,” said Dr William Siegart, chief medical officer at On Call International.

Adding to an unwholesome mix of early starts, late nights and non-stop meetings, 13 per cent of business travellers forget to take their medicine, 16 per cent drink more and eight per cent are more likely to smoke.

“Organisations have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their travelling employees,” continues Siegart. “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. These best practices can also have a positive impact on travellers’ overall long-term health.”