ZB

More business travel, more body fat, says new study

Author
Sarah Pollok, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 28 Jan 2022, 5:28pm
Researchers recently conducted a study to test whether frequent business travel negatively impacted health behaviours and the storage of fat. (Photo / 123rf)
Researchers recently conducted a study to test whether frequent business travel negatively impacted health behaviours and the storage of fat. (Photo / 123rf)

More business travel, more body fat, says new study

Author
Sarah Pollok, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 28 Jan 2022, 5:28pm

Business travel has taken a dive during recent years but that may be a good thing for workers' waistlines. 

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, recently conducted a study to test whether frequent business travel negatively impacted health behaviours and the storage of fat. 

The study was conducted on 695 senior-level corporate executives with an average age of 52 and 82 per cent of whom were men. 

Of the participants, around 45 per cent of executives travelled between one and six days a month, 37 per cent travelled seven to 13 days a month and 12 per cent travelled upwards of 14 days a month. 

The group who travelled the most had the highest body fat percentage, body mass index and visceral fat, which describes fat that surrounds the internal organs. 

Unfortunately for travelling workers, previous studies have found similar results. 

In 2011, Columbia University conducted a study of more than 13,000 employees and found those who travelled for business upwards of two weeks a month had higher BMIs and rates of obesity. 

Unsurprisingly, these employees also self-rated their health as lower. 

Columbia University researchers found that since 81 per cent of business travel was done in persona automobiles, some of the health issues could be related to long hours of sitting and lack of healthy food choices while on the road. 

The study was also the first to find a connection between business travel and heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Researchers from the recent Atlanta study said due to the impact of business travel, workers should pay attention to maintaining healthy habits. 

"Based on our results, consideration should be given to include advice on the importance of maintaining healthy habits among business travellers and on the potential chronobiologic effect of frequent international travel," said a press release. 

The study was published in American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine,