Link Between Work Travel and Behavioural and Mental Health

A new study has found evidence that travel for business may increase the risk of behavioural and mental health problems[i].

The study involved 18,328 employees who underwent a health assessment through their corporate wellness work benefits programme. The results showed that the more nights someone spends away from home, the worse the adverse health effects.  Those who spent more than 21 nights a month away at work were more likely, compared to those travelling 1-6 nights per month, to smoke, report trouble sleeping, be sedentary, show signs of alcohol dependence, show signs of mild or worse anxiety, and have symptoms of depression.

Although business travel can be seen as a job benefit and can lead to occupational advancement, there is a growing literature showing that extensive business travel is associated with risk of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle factors’, said Andrew Rundle, who carried out the research[ii].

The study concludes that employers should provide programs to help employees manage stress and maintain health while travelling for work.

 

[i] Rundle, A. G., Revenson, T. A. & Friedman, M. Business travel and behavioral and mental health. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Publish Ahead of Print, (2018). https://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/publishahead/Business_travel_and_behavioral_and_mental_health.98743.aspx (Accessed 5 February 2018)

[ii] Do you travel for work often? You are likely to suffer from anxiety. Economic Times. 9 January 2018. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/do-you-travel-for-work-often-you-are-more-likely-to-suffer-from-anxiety/articleshow/62426213.cms (Accessed 5 February 2018)