If you’re preparing for an athletic event or business meeting across two or more time zones without accounting for jet lag, you most likely will not be at optimal performance. A study of professional baseball players shows that travel induced circadian misalignment, better known as jet lag, has detrimental effects for both home and away teams, based on offense and defense statistics. Learn more about Circadian Misalignment HERE.
A Northwestern University research team studied the effects of jet lag by analyzing more than 40,000 Major League Baseball games played over 20 years (1992 -2011). Jet lag was defined as a two-hour or greater shift in time zone. The researchers took into account the teams’ travel schedules and players’ performance in hitting, running, pitching and more.
Findings showed that the offense of jet-lagged home teams, i.e., those returning home from a trip, were much more affected than that of jet-lagged away teams. Furthermore, jet lagged home teams returning Eastward from games out West demonstrated significant declines on offensive baserunning statistics—such as stolen bases, number of doubles and triples, and hitting into more double plays—than away teams traveling Eastward. On defense, both home and away teams suffer following Eastward travel, specifically by giving up more home runs.
Together these results demonstrated that jet-lag effects are generally stronger for Eastward than Westward travel. Learn more what Jet Lag is and how to limit it effects HERE.