The work ethic of Americans is admired around the world, and is a key source of strength and innovation in our economy. According to a recent survey, Americans report working longer hours than ever before, on average. The same survey found that 75 percent of Americans don’t use all of their paid vacation days, and 15 percent of U.S. workers don’t use any vacation time at all! Their reasons? Too busy at work.
An active lifestyle, including regular exercise and relaxing time outdoors, can confer many of same health benefits as taking a trip.
The “all work and no play” mentality has a price. Of the people who don’t use their vacation days, nearly half admit to being stressed out during the work week. Too little time away from the job increases your risk for burning out and decreases your overall productivity at work, researchers report. What’s more, those who choose not to take any vacation at all can make others feel reluctant to take time off, despite the reality that workers who take vacations are more productive than those who don’t.
Stresses from work can lead to headaches, anxiety and depression, irritability and overall fatigue. High blood pressure, stroke, and insomnia are also linked to work stress. The cure? Time away. Studies indicate that people who take vacation time and enjoy an active lifestyle report feeling more satisfied with their lives overall, more spiritual, experience more positive emotions, and feel more connected to family and friends.
Though some may appreciate the need for vacation, today’s tough economy may make time off feel like a threat to job security. If that’s the case, make time to recharge after work and on weekends. An active lifestyle, including regular exercise and relaxing time outdoors, can confer many of same health benefits as taking a trip.
How do you relax and relieve stress when you’re not on vacation? Share your experiences in Comments so we can all learn from each other.