Business travel used to be a glamorous endeavor, reserved for top-tier executives. These days, more companies than ever require employees to travel, and their experiences can hardly be considered glamourous. Think of long flight delays, dingy hotel rooms, and meals crafted from the vending machine. It is no wonder that doctors have discovered a link between frequent business travel and poor health.
The Physical Toll of Business Travel
When business travel was only relegated to upper management, companies could afford four-star hotels and business class airfare. With more employees required to travel on tighter budgets, workers often travel on a shoestring. Jet lag, poor sleep habits, and lack of physical activity compromise the immune system and long-term health.
In 2011, Columbia University professor, Dr. Catherine Richards, published a study linking business travel to poor health. She and her colleagues tracked more than 13,000 frequent business travelers and found increased rates of obesity and higher cholesterol levels. Workers who traveled more than 12 nights per month had an average body mass index (BMI) significantly higher than workers who traveled six nights or less. After many years, these early signs of physical distress turn into serious, chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
The Emotional Toll of Physical Travel
Frequent business travel also takes an emotional toll on workers. Lack of a regular sleep schedule, healthy food choices, and regular exercise impacts our emotional well-being. Spending days or weeks away from loved ones can lead to anxiety and depression. Another study analyzed medical insurance claims submitted by consultants at the World Bank. Males who traveled frequently filed 80 percent more claims and female travelers filed 15 percent more than their non-traveling colleagues. Stress-related disorders accounted for the largest increase in job-related insurance claims.
Protecting Employees from Travel-Related Health Problems
We know that frequent travel impacts an employee’s mental and physical health. Employers cutting back on business travel is an obvious first step to a healthier lifestyle for their employees. Video-conferencing allows workers across the world to connect within seconds. In cases where business travel is non-negotiable, companies can provide better accommodations, include time in the schedule for rest and recreation, and encourage healthy habits on the road. Additional time off after long trips allows employees to recuperate and replenish their energy for maximum productivity.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Handle Travel-Related Workers’ Compensation Claims
Many employees are unaware that injuries and illness that occur during work-related travel are often covered by Workers’ Compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured on a business trip, contact our Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. Travel-related Workers’ Compensation claims can be challenging to prove. Our experienced legal team will guide you every step of the way, ensuring you have the documentation you need to successfully prove your claim and receive the benefits you deserve. Call 803-929-3600 or contact us online to schedule a case consultation today.
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