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Frequent business trips may up anxiety, sleep problems: study

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

People who frequently travel for business are at an increased risk of and and are more likely to smoke, be sedentary and report trouble sleeping, according to a study.

Among those who consume alcohol, extensive business travel is associated with symptoms of alcohol dependence, the researchers said.

Poor behavioural and mental health outcomes significantly increased as the number of nights away from home for business travel rose, they said.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is one of the first to report the effects of on non-infectious health risks.

"Although can be seen as a job benefit and can lead to occupational advancement, there is a growing literature showing that extensive is associated with risk of associated with lifestyle factors," said Andrew Rundle, at in the US.

The study was based on the de-identified health records of 18,328 employees who underwent a health assessment in 2015 through their corporate wellness work benefits programme provided by

The health exam measured depressive symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), symptoms with the Generalized Scale (GAD-7) and alcohol dependence with the CAGE scale.

A score above 4 on the Generalized Anxiety Scale (GAD-7) was reported by 24 per cent of employees, and 15 per cent scored above a 4 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), indicating that mild or worse anxiety or depressive symptoms were common in this employee population.

Among those who consume alcohol, a CAGE score of 2 or higher indicates the presence of alcohol dependence and was found in 6 per cent of employees who drank.

GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scores and CAGE scores of 2 or higher increased with increasing nights away from home for business travel.

These data are consistent with analyses of medical claims data from employees which found that the largest increase in claims among their business travellers was for related to stress, researchers said.

Employers and employees should consider new approaches to improve employee health during business trips that go beyond the of providing immunisations and medical evacuation services, according to Rundle.

"At the individual-level, employees who travel extensively need to take responsibility for the decisions they make around diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 13:30 IST