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Relationship between Obesity, Poor Health, and Business Travel

Do you travel for business for two weeks or longer a month? If so, you may have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who travel less. Researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University report that a higher BMI and inferior self-rated health are culprits of extensive business travel. If you travel for work and are considering weight loss surgery like Lap Band surgery, take note of this study.

More than 13,000 employees in an EHE International employee wellness program were evaluated in the study. Medical records and business travel data were collected on the participants. Business travel history indicated that at least one percent of the employees traveled over 20 nights a month, and approximately 80 percent traveled for business at least one night per month.

The results of the evaluation showed that those employees who traveled the most, or 20 or more days per month, rated having poor health in a number of areas as compared to those who only traveled between one and six days a month. Notably, over 80 percent of the traveling was conducted in personal automobiles, which consisted of long hours sitting in a car and high likelihood of making poor food choices, according to the authors of the study.

Some of the health areas pointed out in the study were BMI, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), and blood pressure. For instance, extensive travelers had a mean BMI of 27.5 kg/m2 compared to a BMI of 26.1 for light travelers. Light travelers had an HDL level of 56.1, whereas extensive travelers had an HDL level of 53.3. Lastly, heavy travelers had a Diastolic blood pressure of 76.2 mmHG compared to 74.6 for less substantial traveling.

The findings of this study suggest that employees who travel for work extensively may be at higher risk for health problems, and are encouraged to see their Albany, GA physician to monitor their health. Further, if you’re considering weight loss surgery, such as Lap Band Surgery and travel for work, speak to your weight loss surgeon about what this study means to you.

More information about this study can be found online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


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