-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- American workers forced to
travel often on business aren't doing their hearts any favor, a new
A team of U.S. researchers found that people who travel for
business 20 days or more per month are at higher risk for
cardiovascular disease than "light" travelers who were on the go
only a few days per month.
The team at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public
Health analyzed the medical records of more than 13,000 people in a
corporate wellness program. Nearly 80 percent of them were away
from home overnight at least once a month and 1 percent were away
from home nearly 20 days a month.
Compared to "light" travelers (who traveled 1 to 6 days a month)
those who traveled 20 or more days a month had a higher body mass
index (27.5 vs. about 26); a lower level of "good" high density
lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; and higher diastolic blood pressure
(76.2 vs. 74.6 mmHG). Diastolic pressure is the bottom number in a
blood pressure reading.
Frequent travelers were also almost three times more likely to
rate their health as being only "poor" to "fair," compared to
people who were traveling less often.
The study appears online in the
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The researchers noted that cars are used for 81 percent of
business travel in the United States, leading to long hours of
sitting and a high likelihood of eating unhealthy foods.
"Should further research substantiate a link between business travel and obesity and other chronic disease health outcomes, there are several possibilities for workplace interventions. Employee education programs and strategies to improve diet and activity while traveling are a simple start," senior author Andrew G. Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology, said in a Mailman news release.
There's more on keeping your heart healthy at the
American Heart Association.
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