Excess Business Travel Can Have This Effect on Your Mental Health

Excess Business Travel Can Have This Effect on Your Mental Health

If you feel anxious, have trouble sleeping, and can’t quite stick to regular eating habits, this could be the reason.

Taking a trip to get away can be a perfect way to refresh your mind and spirit. Traveling for business can also be fun and engaging. If you have the extra time to explore your destination, and there’s something worth seeing, it can inspire.

But if you have to hit the road for work too often, it can also hurt.

Related: Traveling by Plane? Always Bring a Tennis Ball, Experts Suggest

There’s a delicate balance. A new study has found that excess traveling for business can leave you feeling anxious. It can also cause both health and behavioral problems.

Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health studied the anonymous health records of 18,328 employees. These individuals underwent a detailed health assessment in 2015 through a corporate wellness work benefits program.

Mental Health

What was found? People who travel for business during two or more weeks per month have more health problems. They’re more likely to smoke, be sedentary, experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, have troubles sleeping and to display symptoms of alcohol dependence (if they drink alcohol). This is compared with people who travel just 1 to 6 nights each month.

“Although business travel can be seen as a job benefit and can lead to occupational advancement,” says Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, “there is a growing literature showing that extensive business travel is associated with risk of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle factors.”

“The field of occupational travel medicine needs …to bring more focus to the behavioral and mental health consequences of business travel,” he added.

The study called upon employees and employers to make changes.  Workplaces should provide workers with accommodations that provide access to gym facilities and healthy food options, as a start, it was determined. And as for employees? Know your limits, and try to stick to your normal schedule while you eat right on the go.

Photo credits: Iryna Rasko/Shutterstock.com

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