Last Updated May 11, 2011 10:49 AM EDT
Andrew Rundle and Catherine Richards used the health records of more than 13,000 people in a corporate wellness program to determine the health status of frequent travelers--those who were on the road at least two weeks each month--compared to light travelers, who were away from home only one to six nights a month. If you're a road warrior, you're not going to like the results:
- Frequent travelers had, on average, a higher body mass index than light travelers (those who were on the road only one to six days a month). So they were more likely to be overweight.
- Frequent travelers had less "good" cholesterol than light travelers.
- Frequent travelers had higher blood pressure than light travelers.
- Frequent travelers were three times more likely to rate their own health as "poor" or "fair" compared to light travelers. This is especially worrisome, since your own assessment of your health is actually a very strong predictor of mortality-much stronger than the 'medical' indicators listed above.
The authors say that 81 percent of business travel is done by car, which means travelers are likely to sedentary for long periods of time and may not have healthy food choices readily available.
I'm sure sitting for long hours in your car isn't good for your health, but what about stress? Do you think the stress of constantly being away from home could be affecting the health of frequent travelers?
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Kimberly Weisul is a freelance writer, editor and consultant. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/weisul.