Scientific evidence shows the benefits of taking time off

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There has been a lot of media attention recently about the shocking number of American workers who don’t take all of their paid time off (40% of workers), who feel guilty about the time they do take, or who continue to work while on vacation—despite a growing body of research showing the benefits of getting away for a bit.

Medical professionals have warned us for years that stress is a leading factor in heart disease. Yet, many workers still won’t set aside time to relax because they’re worried a vacation will get them replaced.

But probably the most compelling evidence of the positive vacation effect can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, in which scientists followed more than 12,000 men and women at risk of heart disease for nine years to find ways to improve their longevity and well-being.  And what they found was not surprising:  those who vacation (twice a year) were less likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack.

Why? Because it’s good to get away!

Consider these healthy reasons to take some time off:

  • Your body is literally telling you to take a break. But you keep ignoring it.
  • When your brain is completely relaxed, it’s still working on improving the skills you have learned.
  • It’s been proven that allowing your brain to day-dream allows you to better solve problems and be more creative.
  • Fact: The more (shorter) vacations you take, the happier you’ll be.
  • In fact, you should try to take a vacation day every single week (if you can).
  • Your performance review this year could be higher if you just go take your vacation.
  • Bosses who take vacations return to work as more focused business leaders.
  • Immersing yourself in new cultures and cuisines will give you a whole new array of ideas you can bring back to work.
  • You might even get paid for taking time off.

Consider this: a vacation could quite literally save your life.

Just ask the nearly 8 million timeshare owners who recognize the value in taking a break at least once a year. They’ll tell you: “An annual vacation is a better way to vacation!”

Fears of Being Replaced and Poor Communication Prevent American Workers from Taking Time Off

Guest Blog By U.S. Travel Association/Travel Effect American workers believe that taking paid time off (PTO) helps them relax and recharge, offers them the opportunity to do what they enjoy, and makes them happier people. Yet, despite almost u...