Business travel is not always good for you! A fascinating study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health demonstrated a strong correlation between frequency of travel and various health issues. They discovered that risks raised include weight gain, anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence and poor sleep. In turn, commercially, these factors can result in poor outcomes for employee productivity and performance in the corporate world. And over a long period of time these issues can add up to a chronic health risk for those travelling regularly.
In recent years, there has been a shift in the mindset of regular travellers. Increasing awareness of these risks is leading to the realisation that health and fitness needs to be a top priority.
These days, a hotel or apartment residence’s workout facilities can influence a business travellers’ booking decision. As can consideration of what is “walkable” nearby. Unsurprisingly, it is estimated that 50% of business travellers now make time to exercise whilst away. And other top wellness concerns include unhealthy heating and lack of sleep, not to mention the stress of the actual travel itself.
Responding to the demand
In response to growing consumer demand, the ever growing global wellness industry has started to sit up and take notice. Whilst the leisure detox vacation has long become a feature of modern luxury living, city hotels are beginning to respond to this particular demand.
Wellbeing options including 24 hour gyms and in-room workout facilities are becoming commonplace in many urban locations.
But there is still a huge way to go…. With the focus being directed on four key areas – eating, exercising, breathing and sleeping.
Healthy travel trends
With regards to eating, healthy food options in hotel restaurants are more in demand, ideally fresh and organic. Some global hotel chains now offer minibars in rooms containing healthy options rather than the usual array of alcohol, crisps and salty snacks. And more inspired hotels (particularly in hot and humid destinations) provide rehydration sachets to address guests’ exhaustion after long flights. And offer ginger shots and supplements containing vitamin C and zinc to help combat the stress imposed on the immune system by long distance travel.
Increasingly, filters are being added to air-conditioning units to combat air pollution by removing harmful particles, pollen, dust mites etc. Air purifiers are being provided in guest rooms.
Other offerings include organic mattresses, yoga mats, antimicrobial countertops, circadian mood lighting, aromatherapy, and even vitamin C infused showers.
Apps are being evolved to provide tools for meditation and the management of jet-lag, sleep, nutrition and stress.
Hotel gyms are an area which is being given increasing amounts of attention. They often contain large equipment as seen in large commercial gyms when actually smaller multi gym type more flexible equipment would be preferable. It does not necessarily cost a fortune to kit out a small gym. Regular exercisers know how to work out and don’t always need masses of space or lots of equipment. It is generally true that business travellers are short of time so fitness programmes need to be time efficient and deliver results.
In many cases, residences with limited space partner with nearby fitness centres, gyms or yoga studios to offer guests some exercise options.
And by delivering these services to health conscious business travellers, regular visitors return time and again to properties where they know that their demands will be met. Brand loyalty and recognition of travellers’ needs certainly pay dividends over the long term for both travellers and the properties themselves.
London apartments with wellness options
A lovely indoor swimming pool is a good reason for business travellers to stay in the Town Hall in London’s Bethnal Green. Situated alongside a well equipped gym, you can take a morning swim in the pool before work. And the residence helpfully provides morning shuttle services into the City of London. An ideal combination!
Park Plaza County Hall has a fitness centre that is open 24/7. This hotel is very well situated for jogging along London’s Southbank where there is lots to see whilst exercising.
And the stunning Park Plaza Westminster Bridge boasts a lovely swimming pool. Guests can also enjoy a session in the sauna or steam room. And the gym is open 24/7. This fabulous property offers a range of accommodation; simple hotel rooms to apartment suites with private kitchenettes. Located just 5 minutes walk from the Houses of Parliament.
Yoga at sunrise
There is so much to explore in London….. Once a month, on the overhead walkway on Tower Bridge, visitors can watch the sun come up over the River Thames whilst enjoying a yoga session….
Stratford – a sportsman’s paradise
If you are coming to London on a long business stay and have more time on your hands to actively participate in sport then the Stratford area is highly recommended. So with its velodrome, swimming pool and vast array of facilities it is the place to stay. Hockey, tennis, football to name but a few of the sports on offer.
London’s Hyde Park is vast and covers an area of some 350 acres. So guests who simply enjoy jogging like to zig-zag across the many paths which criss cross through the magnificent gardens and trees. A simple way of keeping fit in central London.
So when you plan your next business trip, take the time to think about which kind of facilities will be ideal for you. And set about finding them! You may be surprised at what is out there!