Travel is part of the job for many Massachusetts workers. Whether you travel a few days a month to neighboring cities or you spend the majority of your work time out of state, you should be aware of travel-related health issues. Sometimes, these health concerns reach the point where you could be entitled to Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation benefits, yet you may not recognize the correlation between your illness or injury and your job.
Research has long shown that frequent business travel can have consequences for your physical and mental health. Even if you are lucky enough to be traveling to exotic locales on a regular basis, chances are that your health is affected. Factors that contribute to poor health among business travelers include:
- Inadequate/irregular sleep. When we do not sleep in our own beds, we often do not sleep soundly. Jet lag, noisy hotel neighbors, late nights on the road and early-morning flights can contribute to sleep deprivation for the business traveler.
- Poor diet. Even the most diet-conscious traveler may find it challenging to eat healthy away from home. In foreign countries especially, your digestive system may rebel.
- Lack of exercise. Hotels are getting better about catering to health-conscious travelers; however, it’s difficult to make up for the hours sitting in car or airplane seats with occasional workouts in small hotel gyms.
Workers who travel may suffer from these common health problems:
- Hypertension/high blood pressure
- Back/neck/spine injuries
- Heart problems
- Depression and other mental health concerns
Researchers from Columbia University published the results of a study that looked at the health concerns of frequent business travelers. Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the study found that workers reported “less than good health” in direct proportion to the amount of time they spent traveling. One common health issue – obesity – was 92 times more likely among extensive travelers. Obesity can lead to or exacerbate other injuries. Another recent study found that the cost of treating a workers’ compensation injury was three times higher in obese patients than others.
The link between health problems and work may not be immediately clear to travelers. A herniated disc, for example, could be a result of hours of driving for the job. A worker who is depressed may not realize that the problem may be related to the amount of time away from home and family.
If you are a Massachusetts business traveler and have suffered an injury or illness, you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim. To find out what legal options you have, talk to the Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. We can be reached by calling 800-367-0871 or by using our online contact form.