How Can Vacations Improve Your Health?

A vacation can not only be fun, but it can also help bring various health benefits. A survey conducted showed that among those who actually do go on vacations, three out of five of them admitted to doing some work and was found more productive.

Taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. For starters, downtime can decrease heart disease. Studies have shown the cardiovascular health benefits of taking a vacation.

A trial following 12,000 men over a nine-year period that had a high risk for coronary heart disease showed that men who took frequent annual vacations were 21 percent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 percent more likely to die from heart disease.

The landmark Framingham heart study which is the largest and longest running study of cardiovascular disease showed that men who didn’t take a vacation for many years wer 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who took their vacation. Women who took a vacation only once in six years or less were eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who took vacations atleast twice a year.

In addition to this, studies have also revealed several other potential health benefits associated with vacation.

  • Depression can be reduced. A study conducted by Marshfield clinic determined that those women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more prone to suffer from depression and stress than women who take vacations atleast twice a year.
  • Decrease in stress. Studies have also showed that vacations work to reduce stress by giving them a break from activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress.
  • Enhanced productivity. Ernst & Young conducted an internal study of its employees and found that, for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, the year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent and frequent vacationers were less likely to leave the firm.
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