How not taking a holiday could be hurting your health

A holiday is about more than just fun in the sun. It offers a chance for us to recharge our batteries – crucial for our mental and physical well-being.

But, it turns out that plenty of Aussies are not taking holidays because they feel too busy at work.

A number of recent studies have revealed the health benefits of taking holidays. The overriding message is that regular holidays reduce your chances of dying for any reason other than old age. They also lessen your risk of developing heart disease.

On top of that, holidays help reduce stress which can lead to a number of problems like depression, anxiety and even obesity.

In fact, even just planning a holiday can increase happiness for as long as eight weeks.

However, we just don’t seem to be taking full advantage of these positive effects.

A recent study by InterContinental Hotel & Resorts showed that a massive 32% of Aussies won’t take a holiday because they have too much going on at work. Half a million of Aussie workers avoid going on holiday because they dreaded the stress they would face when they returned.

According to the study, two million full-time workers have not been on a holiday in more than a year.

The findings are supported by those of another study by hotel booking site Booking.com which looked at the annual leave habits of 1,000 employed Aussies.

This showed that around 2.4 million Australian workers have not taken leave in over a year. It also revealed that almost nine in ten have experienced “burnout”.

On top of that, just three in ten workers used all of their annual leave over the course of the year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those with children were more likely to take their leave than their childless counterparts.

South Australians were least likely to take a holiday. Just 19% took full advantage of their annual leave.

By contrast, those from New South Wales and Victoria were most likely to take a holiday with 36% and 34% respectively using up all their holiday days.

 

Some of the negative effects of not taking a holiday were highlighted by the Booking.com study as:

Loss of concentration – 51%

Working more slowly than usual – 43%

Taking one or more sick days – 38%

Eating unhealthily (junk/sugary foods) – 36%

Consuming too much caffeine in order to stay focused – 33%

Are you taking enough holidays?

About Anne Majumdar

Journo turned fitness professional, passionate about helping people to live a healthier and happier life! A long way from London, I now call Sydney home.

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