Do you have some vacation days saved up? Consider taking a relaxing trip. It’s not only a great way to bond with your family—it can also benefit your health. Taking a vacation from work can increase your work productivity.
Listed below are some of the benefits of taking a vacation from work.
Vacation Study: What are the Health Benefits of Vacations?
The data on the health benefits of vacations are impressive. According to the Framingham Heart Study, the largest epidemiological study of heart disease in history, women who rarely took vacations had eight times the risk of heart attack than women who took at least one vacation every two to five years. Another study followed 12,338 men for nine years. The researchers found that men who didn’t take annual vacations had a 32 percent higher risk of death from heart attack. These observations are hardly surprising because stress is the number-one cause of heart disease.
This study, along with many others, shows the critical influence vacation plays on our health. Without a vacation, our body and mind cannot remain healthy. This is due to the chronic stress we experience in the workplace. Vacations also increase our productivity and creativity. In short, we become happier people when we take occasional vacations.
Americans and Unused Vacation Days
U.S. employees are one of the hardest working people—we work longer hours and take fewer vacation days than other workers around the world. For instance, American workers receive 14 vacation days but only take 10 days off. Meanwhile, French workers receive 30 vacation days and they take all 30. In all, American workers failed to take 577,212,000 vacation days in 2013 alone. A study from Expedia found that many Americans do not use their vacation days because they try to stock them up, they have difficulty scheduling family trips, or they cancel because they’re needed at work.
When Americans do go on vacation they have a hard time enjoying it. According to the Expedia survey, 67 percent of vacationing American workers check work emails and voicemails. The survey also says that 10 percent of Americans never relax when they are on vacation. This is not how American workers should be enjoying their vacation.
Companies and major corporations offer their employees vacation days during the year, so take advantage of them! After taking a mini-break from work and office stress, your productivity will increase, and you will feel much happier after getting back to work.