Health and Business Travel Don’t AgreeBy Kathleen Burns, published on Feb 21, 2020
New research reveals business travelers’ health takes a hit while on the road.
“I’ll just have one glass of wine while I wait for my flight” — we’ve all been there. And, let’s be honest, it usually turns into two. It’s easy to make these types of concessions while on the road, away from your typical daily routine. Or reward yourself in the form of room service and late night movies in bed after making it through another jam packed day of meetings.
You’re not alone. According to new research, many frequent business travelers sacrifice their personal health (mental and physical) while they’re on the road for work.
Lola.com surveyed over 1,000 frequent business travelers to better understand their preferences and behavior patterns while on the road. Traveling for business is exhausting, both mentally and physically. And the data painted a pretty clear picture: business travelers find it hard to stay healthy while on the road.
Of the frequent travelers who reported regularly exercising at home, over 50% said they do not work out when traveling for work.
This isn’t entirely surprising — business travel makes it super difficult to maintain your typical daily routine. And when your routine gets all out of whack, exercise is often the first thing to go. How can you get in a good workout when you’re hundreds of miles from your usual gym or yoga studio?
Turns out, it doesn’t have to be that difficult to squeeze in some movement — even around an all-day conference.
Have a 15 minute break during the day? Go for a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air and extra steps in. Wake up 20 minutes early to crank out a quick round of body-weight exercises. Or take advantage of the hotel gym and walk on the treadmill while reviewing your notes from the day’s meetings. These little bursts of movement will help you manage stress, improve your focus, and get a better night sleep. When it comes to moving your body, something is always better than nothing.
Exercise isn’t the only thing getting the axe during business travel. Sixty-eight percent of frequent business travelers say they get less sleep while traveling. The reason? Business travelers are working too hard while on the road. In fact, nearly 70% of respondents said they work longer hours while traveling, with women 10% more likely to say this than men. Add unfamiliar hotel beds, stress inducing meetings, and the sheer reality of travel to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for insomnia.
If you (or your employees) fall into this trap, make sure to encourage relatively normal business hours while traveling. It’s not a good look to fall asleep in the middle of an important meeting.
The frequency of business travel is only increasing. How can road warriors start prioritizing their physical and mental health before it’s too late? For a comprehensive view of business travel in 2020, check out the full report here.