Who doesn’t love a holiday? You would be surprised. Aussies are apparently among the worst in the world when it comes to taking holidays – a trend which could be detrimental to their health.
A study released at the start of the year by travel booking site Expedia showed that workers were choosing to take weekends away rather than a bigger trip of several weeks. Even more worrying is that one in six Aussies didn’t take even one day of leave in 2018.
The survey entitled Vacation Deprivation revealed that the average Aussie takes only 14 out of their 20 days of annual leave each year. That represents a downward shift over the last decade. In 2009 Aussies left only 3.5 days unused on average, as compared with the current six.
These stats make Australia the third worst country in the world for taking annual leave behind Japan and Italy. So, although Aussies are known around the world for their love of travel, have we become a land of workaholics?
Money was highlighted as the main reason for not taking a holiday, followed by failure to plan and a work-centric focus.
The trend is problematic because holidays have been shown to be highly beneficial when it comes to health.
Less of the stress
Holidays help to reduce stress by removing people from the environments and activities that they associate with stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who took a holiday, felt their stress-related physical complaints like headaches and backaches were reduced for as long as five weeks after they returned to work.
The cardiovascular health benefits of taking a holiday have also been the subject of a number of studies. One which looked at men who were at risk for heart disease and found that if they skipped taking a holiday for five years in a row, they were 30% more likely to suffer a heart attacks than those who took at least one week off every year. Even missing just one year’s holiday was associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Women who took a holiday just once every six years or less were considered almost eight times as likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack, or die of a coronary-related cause than women who took at least two holidays a year.
According to research, holidays can help break our sleep-disrupting habits too. These include working late into the night or watching a screen just before bed. Stress from work that causes anxiety or tension can also disrupt sleep so taking time off can help you learn how to reset your sleep pattern.