by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 01, 2006

chartLiving healthfully at a meeting is a challenge, especially when afternoon breaks feature M&Ms and there’s no time to exercise. How are planners handling the pressure?

In an online poll, 58 percent of the 429 respondents said they try to eat healthfully on the road but are not always successful, while 13 percent said their healthy habits are the same at home or on the road. A full 21 percent, however, eat whatever is provided at the meeting without much thought.

Most people (61 percent) drink the same amount of alcohol or more when traveling, while 18 percent drink less and 21 percent never drink.

The largest number of those surveyed (49 percent) said they have no time to exercise on the road, but do so when they’re at home. Seven percent exercise more when traveling, 28 percent exercise about the same whether home or away, and 16 percent never exercise. While 38 percent said they often gain weight on the road, 50 percent claim travel doesn’t affect the scale.

Only 2 percent of the planners surveyed always are willing to pay to work out, while 31 percent will do so sometimes and 67 percent refuse to pony up a gym fee. That’s an understandable ratio, as 86 percent said their organizations don’t reimburse the fee.

Travel takes a physical toll on many meeting planners. One-third (34 percent) reported it makes them feel ill and tired. However, the bulk of the respondents, 55 percent, said travel doesn’t particularly affect how they feel, and 11 percent said going on the road invigorates them.

To help relieve some of the stress associated with travel, 29 percent of the meeting planners surveyed practice yoga or other relaxation methods while on the road.

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