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WELLthier Living and Aging

Article Abstracts
Nov 30, 2022

WELLthier Living and Aging

Take More Vacation Days, Live Longer?

Article Abstracts
Feb 05, 2023

Only about a quarter of Americans used all their paid vacation days last year, and when they did take time off, almost half admitted to doing at least an hour of work per day.

A 40-year study looked at 1,222 middle-aged male executives with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Half of the group was given a lifestyle recommendation program, and the other half was not.

In the healthy lifestyle recommendation group, the participants who took more than three weeks of vacation had a 37% lower chance of dying in the follow-up period than those who took less than three weeks. Participants who took shorter vacations also worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations.

The researchers found that even fitness and dietary recommendations couldn’t completely make up for the stress of daily life.

“Don’t think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays,” said Professor Timo Strandberg, of the University of Helsinki. “Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress.”

Importantly, taking vacation days doesn’t have to mean traveling. It could mean a staycation or just a personal day.

As the end of the calendar year approaches, take a look at your remaining vacation days—and use them!

REFERENCES

Blue Zones. (n.d.). NEWS: Science says you should take more vacation days. https://www.bluezones.com/2018/10/news-science-says-you-should-take-more-vacation-days

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