Travel Research: Nontravelers Live More Sedentary Lifestyles Compared to Travelers

Did you know that travelers exercise more and engage in more activities even when they are not traveling than nontravelers? Recent research suggests that nontravelers live more sedentary lifestyles than travelers even when they are “at home”.  Let’s take a closer look at a research article in the Journal of Travel Research.

travel research

Research Study

We’ll explore a recently published article on the behavior of travelers versus nontravelers:

Litvin, S., Smith, W., & Pitts, R. (2013). Sedentary behavior of the nontravel  segment: A research note.  Journal of Travel Research52, 1131-1136. 

How the Research was Conducted

The researchers compared activities of a random sample of 60,000 Americans who completed a mailed survey. Of these, 79% were classified as travelers (reported having traveled for pleasure or vacation in past 2 years) and 21% were classified as nontravelers (reported not having vacationed in the past 2 years). They were all asked how frequently they had engaged in 44 different activities while “at home” in the past year. These activities included a range of activities, including fishing, exercising, dancing, attending sporting events, jogging, going to rock concerts, picnicking, and gardening.

Research Results & Findings

Interestingly, travelers reported engaging in all 44 activities significantly more than nontravelers. The researchers controlled for variables like cost of the activities and physical intensity, but the differences still remained between travelers and nontravelers.

What does this mean?

Those who are nontravelers are much less active in their daily lives—getting less exercise and doing fewer recreational and cultural activities—than travelers. Nontravelers appear to live a much more sedentary lifestyle compared to those who travel. Researchers suggest that nontravelers may simply be less motivated compared to travelers.

So what do you think–what might account for these differences? Is it that nontravelers are simply less motivated to engage in all activities compared to nontravelers as the authors suggest, or is it something else? Do these results ring true to you when you think about the travelers and nontravelers on your own life?

Stay healthy and keep traveling!