In a study from the European Society of Cardiology, research has suggested that if a person takes 3 weeks of vacation days it may help you live longer. They looked at data from a long term study of 40 years to determine if living a healthy life could help a person’s risk of heart disease. A healthy life was determined by eating a balanced diet, not smoking, and a routine of aerobic activity. But in the recent study they looked at the data and found out that stress was the most influential indicator of longevity.
The original study in 1974 consisted of 1,222 adult men in their middle ages that were divided into 2 groups. The intervention group was given written and oral instructions on living a healthy life. During the study they received counseling on nutrition, help to stop smoking and given an exercise routine. They were put on medicine, if needed, to maintain normal blood pressure or cholesterol levels. The other group were given no intervention help at all.
The groups were followed for 5 years. The results were that the intervention group had a reduction in the risk of heart disease by 46%. But, surprisingly, after checking this group at 15 years their rate had decreased to 37% based on whether or not they had taken fewer and shorter vacation days.
The determination that a healthy lifestyle can compensate for working hard and not taking vacation time does not pan out. The study showed that vacations can relieve stress, thereby increasing a person’s lifespan. Chronic stress can exacerbate any unhealthy problems like obesity, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, hair and skin problems and gastrointestinal discomfort. More than 6 out of 10 people had significant stress at work and have been negatively impacted by it. They had tendencies to be quick to anger and snap at loved ones which increased tension and created mood imbalances.
In the US when an employee gets paid time off, it is often used for childcare coverage, doctors appointments or keeping up with errands instead of vacation time. Vacations are considered a luxury and not essential, therefore, causing a lot of people not to work them into their life. But, from this study, it is clear that a vacation can be beneficial to a person’s health and lifespan.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Take a vacation – it could prolong your life