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Dunnar

Longer holidays can add years to your life

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How longer holidays can add years to your life

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Taking more than three weeks’ holiday a year could lengthen your life, according to results that give another reason to look forward to summer.

Doctors should prescribe time off to people with heart problems to ensure that the stress of trying to live more healthily does not kill them, researchers said.

People who took less than three weeks off work in a year were 37 per cent more likely to die during the course of a 40-year study. “Don’t think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays,” Timo Strandberg, of the University of Helsinki, who led the research, said.

His findings arise out of research that he began in the 1970s on 1,200 businessmen. It produced the puzzling results that men who were given intensive health advice and reduced their risk of heart disease by more than half were more likely to die early.

Professor Strandberg has concluded that these deaths were concentrated in those men who did not take enough time off work. “There was a clear, significant difference,” he said. “The men who had shorter vacations, which means less than three weeks annually, had higher mortality than those who had longer vacations.” He said it was logical to think that trying to live more healthily brought its own stress. “A businessman with a high status goes to the doctor, who says that you must reduce weight and stop smoking. If you can’t do it you get stressed,” he said.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Munich. Martin Marshall, vice-chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said that family doctors “often recommend that patients take some time away from work or go on holiday if they are stressed”. Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Taking time out can be a great way to relieve tension, but you can also talk to friends and family to share any troubles.”

 

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I wonder if the benefits accrue only in a single large block of vacation leave or if they accrue if mini vacations are spread thoughout the year. For example, does one get more benefit out of a 3-week holiday, or three weeks worth (15 working days) of taking Fridays off for a 3-day weekend?

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17 minutes ago, Elovia said:

I wonder if the benefits accrue only in a single large block of vacation leave or if they accrue if mini vacations are spread thoughout the year. For example, does one get more benefit out of a 3-week holiday, or three weeks worth (15 working days) of taking Fridays off for a 3-day weekend?

I wondered that myself.

If I had to guess, I would equate it to exercise.  For instance, studies show if you do 10 minutes a day for a few times a week, you will see a massive benefit over doing nothing.  Thinking the same, the body responds if you get away from work for enough time to release that stress.

Also everyone is different.  My manager takes a few days on vacation before he stops texting me about work.  Where as I am instantly on vacation the moment I turn off my laptop ... even earlier in some cases :D

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I always end up losing weight on hols - even in Florida!!!! It's down to the fact that my job is very sedentary and hols are just about the only time i move. Well, that and to grab another beer from the fridge. I'm working on training Winnie to sort out that gap in my movement strategy.

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37 minutes ago, Pasanda said:

I always end up losing weight on hols - even in Florida!!!! It's down to the fact that my job is very sedentary and hols are just about the only time i move. Well, that and to grab another beer from the fridge. I'm working on training Winnie to sort out that gap in my movement strategy.

I'm a bit opposite. I usually gain weight when I go on vacation ... probably from dining out and eating more than I do normally.

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41 minutes ago, Elovia said:

I'm a bit opposite. I usually gain weight when I go on vacation ... probably from dining out and eating more than I do normally.

ditto ... I am usually trying to watch what I eat at home.  When I go on vacation ... I consume everything I can.

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Edited by Dunnar
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