Want To Live Longer? Take A Vacation

Published on August 4, 2016

As we enter the final month of summer, reflect for a moment on the need for — and benefits of — time away from work. Here in Minnesota, we are gearing up for a classic family driving/camping vacation –- mountains, forests, caves, lakes, and plenty of good friends. It takes a tremendous amount of work to get everyone out of their natural, electronic habit and into the wild.

Why do we do it?camping2.jpg

In March, we blogged about the 5 Surprising Consumer Behaviors that Correlate with Health, which included the connection between travel and a healthy lifestyle. How does time away from work help?

Here are some reference points:

Improved health & longevity

From an article published in Psychosomatic Medicine: men who take time away from work may live longer, healthier lives.

FamilyHike.jpg…and so do women: the famous Framingham Study shows women who take vacations infrequently were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.

Reduced depression & decreased stress

As referenced in this Marshfield Clinic study, published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, those who take vacations “…are less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriage… increased quality of life may also lead to improved work performance.”

More productive employees, higher retention

SHRM study shows “…employees who take most or all of their vacation time are more productive in their jobs than those who do not”, and “using vacation time leads to higher performance and increased job satisfaction.”

In the book The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, the authors reference an Ernst & Young study that showed each 10 hours of PTO taken increased year-end performance rankings by 8%, along with decreased turnover.

Live Longer, Happier Lives

As individuals, make time to get away — whether out in the woods, up at the lake, down by the shore, or in the middle of the endless prairie. Sing songs around a campfire, swim in a mountain stream. You will live a longer, happier life, and your children will have fond memories of growing up to share with their children.

As employers, do you include PTO usage as a factor in risk identification, for claims and mortality? You should. It will increase the productivity and retention of your staff, and just may lower your costs for insurance.

Just do it!

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