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Lost luggage is leading cause of stress for business travelers

Business travel can be bad for your health.

That was the conclusion of a Columbia University study last year that found high obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure rates among those who travel the most for work.

Now a new study by CWT Solutions Group, a travel management consultant, identifies those things that cause the most stress to travelers and possibly lead to health problems.

Here are the top five sources of stress, based on a ranking from zero to 100, with 100 being the most stressful:

1.    Lost or delayed luggage (79)
2.    Poor or no Internet connection (77)
3.    Getting stuck in an economy seat on a medium- or long-haul flight (73)
4.    Delays (72)
5.    Inconvenient departure or arrival times (69)

The survey also found that travel stress increases with age and travel frequency and that women report higher stress levels than men.

What upsets women the most? Women get more stressed than men over losing luggage and not being able to eat healthily, the report found. Men get more upset than women about flying in economy seats on long flights.

The authors of the report said that the findings can help businesses make changes in the way they plan travel to reduce stress and increase productivity among workers.

For example, the report suggested that booking employees in economy seats might save money but could end up costing more in the long run on lost productivity from stress-related illnesses.

“When travelers are traveling for business, they need to be productive,” said Michelle Surkamp, a spokeswoman for CWT Solutions. “This study is meant to help travel managers keep stress levels down.”