Traveling for Work Doesn’t Mean Missing Out on Workouts

GBTA Exercise While TravelingOriginally posted on March 29, 2017

From catching flights to meeting with clients, travelers on work trips can have little time to spare. But that doesn’t stop more than half (55%) of business travelers worldwide from exercising the same or more than they do at home, according to the latest GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ Global Report, in partnership with American Express.

In fact, 39% of business travelers work out about the same amount on the road as they do at home and 15% actually work out more during business trips according to the report, which surveyed 3,220 full- and part-time employees in eight countries and territories.

Millennials Most Likely to Work Out During Business Trips

Millennials (those ages 18-34) are more likely than other age groups to keep up fitness routines during work trips. Members of this generation say they work out the same amount (43%) or more (18%) while on the road. That compares to 38% of GenXers (35-54) and 37% of Boomers (55+) who work out the same amount on road trips as at home and 17% of GenXers and 10% of Boomers who work out more.

In addition, almost one-half (46%) of Millennials work out during every or almost every trip, compared to 41% of GenXers and 38% of Boomers.

Millennials also are more likely than other age groups to keep workout options in mind when booking a hotel for a business trip, with 43% saying they factor proximity to fitness facilities or walkable areas into decisions about accommodations always or most of the time, compared to 34% of GenXers and 25% of Boomers.

While Millennials may seem to be leading the focus on fitness, 42% of business travelers of all age groups walk, use a hotel fitness center or do some other type of physical activity during every or almost every business trip. Only 26% of business travelers claim to work out occasionally or not at all when they’re on the road.

For those travelers who are less likely to fit in a workout, the survey also uncovered their biggest hindrances to sticking to a fitness regime. Lack of time (71%) came in at number one. Other reasons include being too tired (47%), out of a normal routine (29%), lack of luggage space for workout clothes (18%) or a hotel fitness center (17%), a hotel fitness center not having the right equipment (10%) or being too expensive (5%), or travelers being unable to find a local branch of their gym (5%).

How Fitness Factors Into Choosing Accommodations

Travelers are divided over the importance of staying at hotels with workout facilities or walkable areas close by: 35% take the proximity of fitness options into account when booking accommodations all or most of the time, 28% consider it sometimes and 37% rarely or never do.

When it comes to getting in a workout, travelers’ attitudes toward exercising during work trips also vary based on country or region, and company size. Employees in Japan, for example, are more than twice as likely to work out more often than usual when they’re traveling for business (33%) compared to all business travelers (15%).

Travelers from Germany (45%) and the United States (40%) are more likely than others to consider proximity to workout opportunities when booking travel accommodations, compared to 35% of business travelers overall.

Coverage of Workout Facilities Varies By Country and Company Size

Depending on the country, corporate hotel rates may also cover fitness facility fees. Use of workout areas is included always or most of the time for 47% of U.S. travelers, 43% of Canadians and 41% of Germans. On the other hand, Japanese business travelers are least likely to have fitness center fees covered by corporate hotel rates all or most of the time, with just 7% saying their corporate, pre-negotiated rate includes access to a hotel fitness center or local gym. One in 10 travelers don’t know whether their company’s policies cover hotel fitness center fees.

The size of a company can also play a role in work-trip workouts. Employees of mid-size companies with a team of 100 to 999 people (41%) or large companies with 1,000 or more employees (39%) are more likely to say their company’s pre-set hotel rates always or almost always cover access to a fitness center, compared to employees of small companies with less than 100 people (30%). People working at mid-size and large companies are also more likely to consider proximity to fitness options when booking hotels, 39% and 36% respectively, compared to 30% of employees at small businesses.

For more business travel insights, download the full GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ Global Report – January 2017, in partnership with American Express.

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