For a large percent of Americans, vacations are a luxury to be talked about, dreamed about and planned but seldom taken. Americans are vacation deprived and we pay the price in increased health costs, work related stress, strained family relationships and job burnout.
Taking a vacation shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury to be taken when and if time and resources permit. For the sake of your health, your relationships and even your job, vacations are necessary.
In numerous studies researchers have found significant increases in risk of serious health concerns among workers who fail to take time off for vacation even when they get paid to do so.
A study published in the August 2005 issue of the Wisconsin Medical Journal reports women who took vacations more frequently reported less stress, depression and fatigue than those who seldom took a vacation.
Other studies indicate that men who fail to take vacations are eight times more likely to die of a heart attack or suffer from heart disease.
Vacations are proven to:
• Reduce Stress
• Decrease Stress Hormones
• Lower Blood Pressure
• And even lead to a smaller waist size (Unless you spend time at the free buffet during your cruise!)
Taking a vacation has other advantages as well.
According to the Vacation Deprivation Survey sponsored by Expedia.com,
• 53% of employed adults report feeling more rested and rejuvenated after a vacation.
• 34% feel better about their about their jobs and report greater productivity
• 53% feel reconnected with family.
There are as many vacation options as there are individuals needing a vacation.
Plan a special destination. Stay away from work-related messages, emails, and phone calls as much as possible. Remember a vacation is time away from work that allows you to return with a renewed energy and perspective.
You can even make vacation plans to help you meet healthy lifestyle goals. Some cruises offer fitness oriented programs or destinations that allow enough time for hiking, swimming or scuba diving.
Wilderness tours are another popular option for using your vacation time to try a totally new experience that could lead to a lifetime love of the outdoors.
Where you go and how you spend your vacation time is completely a matter of personal choice.
Above all, do take that vacation. You’ve earned it and it’s good for your health!
Gump BB, Matthews KA. Are vacations good for your health? The 9-year mortality experience after the multiple risk factor intervention trial. Psychosom Med 2000; 62: 608-612. 11020089
Strauss-Blasche, G., Reithofer, B., Schobersberger, W., Ekmekcioglu, C. and Wolfgang, M. (2005), Effect of Vacation on Health: Moderating Factors of Vacation Outcome. Journal of Travel Medicine, 12: 94-101. doi: 10.2310/7060.2005.12206
Chikani V, Reding D, Gunderson P, McCarty CA.Vacations improve mental health among rural women: the Wisconsin Rural Women’s Health Study. WMJ. 2005 Aug;104(6):20-3.PMID: 16218311