Taking a vacation not only can be fun, but it also can help bring a variety of health benefits. The unfortunate thing is that the average employee only takes half of his or her eligible vacation time. And when we do go on vacation, we’re in constant contact, and we continue to do work. Doing this means that you don’t benefit from the upsides of downtime, which we’ll explore below.
Vacation and Heart Disease
There have been multiple studies on the effect of working life on cardiovascular health, one of them being the landmark Farmingham Heart Study, the largest and longest-running cardiovascular study. Both men and women who vacationed only once every several years were much more likely than those who vacationed at least once a year to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack (Health Net, 2016).
Vacation and Depression
A study found that those who vacationed at least once every two years were less likely to suffer from depression and had higher positive emotional levels. The benefits of vacationing also extend to lower blood pressure and less obesity (Health Net, 2016).
Vacation and Stress
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that vacations reduce stress by removing people form the activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress. It’s been shown that taking vacations helped to alleviate job stress (Health Net, 2016).
Vacation and Productivity
A study found that, for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8% and frequent vacationers also were significantly less likely to leave the organization. Additionally, it’s been shown that high-level professionals who were required to take time off were significantly more productive overall than those who spent more time working (Health Net, 2016).
Health Net. (2016). Health Benefits of Vacations. Retrieved from