With the pressures of modern times, it is no shock to learn that many people find themselves suffering from workplace stress. This is especially true of middle managers who find themselves torn between the people that work for them and the people they work for.
Left untreated, this type of workplace stress can become a serious health condition with lifelong effects, and so employers and employees need to take the time to relax and unwind. There is so much evidence that clearly points to the fact that a holiday truly is the best way to reset and decompress. Read on to find out more about the positive impact of taking a holiday.
What does a holiday offer?
One of the main reasons that a holiday is better than an evening off is the length of time that you are away from the daily grind, taking a long period of time off work allows you to recover from the stresses and strains of daily life and enjoy some time out.
Another positive benefit of taking a holiday is the fact that many of us use the time to enjoy activities that we do not usually have time for. Things such as sports, walking, and enjoying quality time with loved ones all have positive health benefits, including improving your heart health.
How long should I go away for?
Research has found that a holiday of four days or more is ideal for an employee as it gives just enough time to get away and recover before heading back to work to tackle the stresses that come with the job. The reality is that the effect of a holiday can wear off very quickly and most people find themselves back in their previously stressful cycle within a couple of weeks of their return to work.
How can a holiday help my heart?
When it comes to heart health, there is detailed research that provides a link between taking time out and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. More specifically, research has shown that the average middle-aged man who is in the high-risk category for heart disease can reduce his risk or death if he takes at least one holiday per year.
Does this apply to everyone?
Sadly, this positive impact does not affect every person that takes a holiday, although it is believed that at least 60% of work-aged people will enjoy these benefits if they go for a holiday of four days or more each year.
The remaining 40% are more likely to experience no benefit at all from the holiday, with a small section of this group experiencing a negative effect from taking a holiday.
In short, if you are planning a holiday, then you should ideally go for a minimum of four nights to give yourself the optimum amount of time to rest and relax. This length of time relaxes the body and helps you to recover from the pressures that you face each day at work.
These holidays are not just an important time away from work but offer support to improve your mental health, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and giving you the chance to participate more in a community.
Remember that if you do not have a holiday booked, you can reduce the stress that you face each day by engaging with activities outside the workplace that take your mind off your job. Find a hobby that interests you or an activity that you can enjoy with friends and see quick improvements in your well-being.
It is essential that employers consider the impact of holidays on their staff and ensure that everyone in the organisation has at least one holiday period per year. This is part of the duty of care to employees and will result in better results overall. Ultimately, employees and employers must work together to make work and holiday time healthy if they want to get the best from each other.
Blank, Cornelia, et al. “Short Vacation Improves Stress-Level and Well-Being in German-Speaking Middle-Managers-A Randomized Controlled Trial.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 13 Jan. 2018.
de Bloom J; Geurts SA; Sonnentag S;Taris T; de Weerth C; Kompier MA; “How Does a Vacation from Work Affect Employee Health and Well-Being?” Psychology & Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Akerstedt, T. et al. “Vacation (after-) Effects on Employee Health and Well-Being, and the Role of Vacation Activities, Experiences and Sleep.” Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer Netherlands, 1 Jan. 1970.
Pagán, R. “The Impact of Holiday Trips on Life Satisfaction and Domains of Life Satisfaction: Evidence for German Disabled Individuals.” SAGE Journals.
Bloom, J. How Do Vacations Affect Workers’ Health and Well-Being?. Vacation (after-) Effects and the Role of Vacation Activities and Experiences, Aug. 2012.
Lechleitner P.; Neumayr G. “Effects of a One-Week Vacation with Various Activity Programs on Cardiovascular Parameters.” The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Gump B.B.; Matthews K.A. Are Vacations Good for Your Health? The 9-Year Mortality Experience after the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial.