Health and well-being factors associated with international business travel

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BACKGROUND: International travel by US business travelers is continuing to increase with the globalization of the economy. The objective of this study was to determine if the frequency and duration of international business travel is associated with differences in travelers' health and well-being. This study expands our limited knowledge of the impact of long-haul travel on healthy lifestyle choices and traveler's perceptions of their health and well-being. METHODS: 12,942 unique health risk appraisal (HRA) records of US employees of a multinational corporation were analyzed according to self-reported (objective and subjective) travel history and lifestyle habits. RESULTS: Comparing 2,962 international travelers and 9,980 non-travelers, international business travel was significantly associated with a lower body mass index, lower blood pressure, excess alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and diminished confidence to keep up with the pace of work. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated both positive and negative associations on the health risks and well-being of a large sample of US-based international business travelers from an US multinational company. This study identifies targeted areas for pretrip screening and counseling to proactively address potential negative effects of travel and may assist in the design of corporate travel health and employee assistance programs.




Burkholder, J. D., Joines, R., Cunningham-Hill, M., & Xu, B. (2010). Health and well-being factors associated with international business travel. Journal of Travel Medicine, 17(5), 329–333.

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