Fast Lane: The darker side of business travel

Fast Lane: The darker side of business travel

Part of the job of being SmartCompany editor involves regular interstate trips from Melbourne to Sydney and Canberra and even the occasional bit of overseas travel.

I love travelling for holidays and have always thought business travel was quite exciting but the reality often proves to be more grunge than glamour.

As fascinating and useful as these trips can be the aftermath is that I’m usually exhausted and if I’m lucky I might even pick up some sort of bug on the plane as a more lasting souvenir.

That won’t be a surprise for a lot of SmartCompany readers particularly those based in regional areas or the exporters and importers out there, where regular and long trips are just part of doing business.

You’re probably rolling your eyes at my whingeing as you read this.

But now there’s scientific proof that business travel might very well be making you sick thanks to research published earlier this year by University of Surrey in England and the Linnaeus University in Sweden.

In ‘A Darker Side of Hypermobility’ researchers Scott Cohen and Stefan Gössling outline the physiological, psychological, emotional and social costs of our increased mobility for individuals and societies.

The researchers found frequent travel can be harmful with the most commonly discussed physical impact being jet lag which disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.

But there’s more than just jet lag.

“For frequent flyers and occasional flyers alike, being in-flight increases the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis, exposes passengers to more germs, and can contribute to subtle discomforts such as dry eyes and dehydrated skin,” the research found.

Then there are the impacts which can be seen as somewhat self-inflicted.

“These include, for instance, most often in the case of frequent business travellers, fewer opportunities for physical exercise, worse eating habits than when at home and sometimes the over-consumption of alcohol,” the research found.

“Jet lag and travel stress not only impact travellers physiologically, but also psychologically and emotionally”

While the ability to travel for work can be a privilege regular travellers know it can also be a pain.

Bring on the advent of teleporting.



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