Normally, when you think of a vacation, you think of a way to enjoy your free time, either by yourself or with family and friends. And most of the time, that's just what it is. But in reality, you do so much more than just relax somewhere. Now, some facts have been revealed, relating the relaxation you experience during this time and your health. Yes, thats how it is. Holidays and travel help you in your health.
Still not convinced? Let's analyze this: Americans take the shortest vacation time among countries in the industrialized world – averaging 8.1 days after a year at work and 10.2 days after three years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, reports a study conducted by online travel company Expedia. U.S. workers will receive 10 percent less vacation time than they did last year.
Australians, for example, are guaranteed – by law – four weeks of annual vacation time and often take longer to negotiate with their employers. By contrast, 13 percent of US companies now do not offer paid vacation, up from 5 percent five years ago, says the Association for Human Resource Management. In the state of Washington, 17 percent of workers do not receive paid leave.
Some reports indicate that forty percent (40%) of Americans work more than 50 hours a week. Also, 56% of employees will postpone their holidays until business or productivity improves. All of these conditions only serve to increase stress on workers, and stress can lead to serious health risks, including, but not limited to, heart disease, hyper tension and headaches.
Now, a very effective way to reduce stress is by getting a well-earned rest. Studies show that people who take a vacation trip at least once a year reduce their risk of heart attack by 50%. It has also been reported that people who postpone their holidays too often have twice the chance of developing myocardial infarction or coronary death. Meanwhile, blood pressure, heart rate and epinephrine levels – a stress hormone – fall on holidays of just one or two days.
So, as you can see, traveling and vacation is not only fun for you, but also very, very good for your health. And it's not just the excess people who can benefit from the holidays. Women who take more vacations are more satisfied with their marriages. This may be because: At least four out of ten travelers feel more romantic on holiday (42%), and nearly a third admit to making love more often on vacation (31%). It may also be due to the fact that over half of employed Americans say they return feeling connected to their family after the holidays (53%). A clear majority of students who traveled on an international exchange program felt that they had become more reliable, open-minded, flexible, confident and tolerant as a result of their travel experiences. Furthermore, eight out of ten said that the main benefit of these trips is the desire for more trips. Patients who had previously appeared isolated and withdrawn at a Midwestern Veteran Hospital were able to have post-break conversations. In fact, staff reported that the breaks appeared to "remove the aura of depression" that was part of the emotional trauma of dealing with prolonged illness.