How many people out there dream of a vacation, only to be swamped by work? The idea of lounging at the beach with a fruity cocktail sounds nice, but the mountain of paperwork and backlog of emails makes it seemingly impossible for some.
A report by Project: Time Off says 52 percent of U.S. employees had unused vacation days in 2017. Their data showed there were 705 million unused vacation days annually.
Taking those vacation days (or at least a few more) could actually help keep you healthier.
Here are just four possible health benefits from using your PTO days:
• Stress reduction: A study by the University of Vienna found the group had improved moods and fewer physical complaints after returning from vacation.
• Heart disease prevention: The Framingham Heart Study found that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks than men who took time off.
• Better love life: A Nielsen study found that 80 percent of people who vacationed yearly said the romance was still good in their relationship, compared to 56 percent who don’t vacation. And there are a gazillion studies about the benefits of a healthy sex life.
• Better sleep: An Air New Zealand study tracked passengers on a flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand, as well as on their return flight. Passengers averaged nearly an extra 20 minutes of sleep each night after returning from vacation.
“Vacations can help put a stop to sleep-disrupting habits, like doing work or staring at a backlit screen just before bed,” study coauthor Kevin Gregory told oprah.com. “A little time away can be effective for hitting reset on so many levels.”
A 2018 survey released by the American Psychological Association says that vacation time is necessary for workers to get refreshed.
“People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout,” said David W. Ballard, who heads APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “But employers shouldn’t rely on the occasional vacation to offset a stressful work environment.”
More from Everybody Lives Well
See also, Is It Actually Good To Eat An Apple A Day?
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.