Statistics report that many people in the United States do not take their allotted vacation or PTO time. This is in stark contrast to people in other countries around the world. People in European countries tend to get almost double the amount of vacation time as U.S. citizens. I am not sure if it is due to finances, job insecurity or if people living in other countries seem to be more aware of the health benefits of vacations. On the other hand people in Japan have the least amount of vacation time … and the highest suicide rate!
Time off or periods of time away from ones job has numerous benefits. Surveys have found that employees returning from a period of extended time off are more productive, creative and happier than those employees that have not had a break in routine. It was also discovered that a post vacation person had an increase in reaction time by almost forty percent!
Vacations break the routine and stress cycle. Stress can takes a toll on a body, it can cause injuries, reduce the ability to fight infection and maintain general good health. They have found that those employees have also lowered their risk of heart disease and their blood pressure by a third and decreased their chance for depression by half! And one study shows vacations also decrease your waist size! Plus the effects of the vacation are said to last up to five weeks post time off. Furthermore it was found in one study that more frequently people vacationed the longer they lived, possibly due to the above listed health benefits.
“Vacation used to be a luxury, but in today's world it has become a necessity.” ~Author Unknown
Yet another study found that vacations strengthen relationships. Adult children tend to remember vacations taken with their families and they help keep family bonds strong. (“Your kids inevitably want to move where they had their vacations when they were younger.” ~Jim Harrison
… Oh so true, thank you Stefanie for doing just that!)
Couples that take time off together seem to be more satisfied with their marriages. Vacationing with friends can produce lifelong bonds.
All of that being said I guess there is a reason schools have recess, the military grants R & R and our employers provide us with PTO or vacation time. Some psychologists feel that vacation time or PTO should be mandatory.
So as Willie Nelson sings “On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again, going places that I have never been, seeing things that I may never see again, I can’t wait to get on the road again.”