The Health Benefits Of Travel
Take a Break And Reap The Physical And Mental Rewards
UK workers are failing to take their full holiday entitlement, resulting in absence due to sick leave. Find out why going on holiday can improve your health.
A YouGov survey commissioned by business information services company Wolters Kluwer has discovered that over 3 out of 10 British employees did not use their full holiday entitlement in 2014. Currently, workers in the UK are entitled to 28 paid days off per year, including bank holidays. This is one of the lowest holiday entitlements in Europe where the average is 33 days per year. The consequence of our employees not getting enough vacation time is that they’re requiring time off for sick leave instead.
Across the Atlantic and the story is quite similar, as a report by ‘Project: Time Off’ found that US employees took around 16 days paid holiday in 2013 which was down from 20 days in 2000.
If only employees from the UK and the USA were aware of the massive health benefits that they could enjoy by using their holiday entitlement to go travelling.
Planning a Holiday
Your mental health can improve substantially just by having a holiday booked in your calendar. It makes us happy and gives us a positive time to look forward to. A 2014 study by Cornell University found that ‘people derive more happiness from anticipating a travel experience than from anticipating possession of something they’re going to buy or acquire’.
Get In Shape
Even though many feel that we may actually pile on the weight whilst on holiday, the opposite can often be true depending on the type of holiday we’re taking. If you’re on a city break or visiting a family resort such as Disney World, you may find yourself completing several miles of walking each day as you visit all the attractions a location has to offer.
This would often be in contrast to your usual daily routine of sitting at a desk all day then going home to dinner and TV on the sofa. Those on a beach holiday may burn extra calories by participating in swimming or water sports and be less attracted to weight-gaining carbs or chocolate in hot weather.
Reduce Your Chance of a Heart Attack
The Framingham Heart Study conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Boston University in Massachusetts has discovered that men who fail to take a holiday for several years are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack, whilst it is also 8 times more probable that women who only vacation once every 6 years or less will experience a cardiac arrest.
Eliminate Stress and Resist Depression
Going on holiday gives workers the chance to fully unwind and forget about daily sources of stress such as heavy workloads, your boss and co-workers, and even complicated relationships with extended family members or friends.
Getting away from everything is the perfect opportunity to destress and face any issues with renewed strength when you return from your break. You are also usually able to sleep for longer on holiday with no alarm clock to break your natural sleep rhythms. By being able to recharge your batteries in such a way you’ll actually build up your resistance to depression.
As we are now aware, simply starting the process by booking a holiday and getting your travel dates in the calendar can begin to transform your physical and emotional health.
However, travellers should protect themselves against unforeseen medical circumstances occurring whilst on holiday and taking out some travel insurance.