Multiple time zone travel may affect elite Aussie athletes

A study of elite rugby players is the first to show that elite athletes travelling to international destinations more than five time zones different from their home country have an increased risk of illness.

The internationally collaborative research studied 259 players from eight teams who were travelling between Australia, South Africa and New Zealand to compete in the 2010 Super 14 Rugby Union tournament lasting 16 weeks.

The team doctors completed a daily log of any illness requiring medical attention, with a total 469 illnesses being reported in 187 players (72%), an incidence of around 21 per 1000