Workers Too Stressed To Take Vacation US
Many Americans are involuntary workaholics, results of a recent survey suggest. More than 30% of workers gobble their lunch while they work and nearly 20% said they are too overworked to use their annual vacation time — even though they already have fewer vacation days than workers in other industrialized nations.
Regular vacations are preventive medicine, they cut down on stress-related illness and save health care dollars.
17% of the workers surveyed reported a loss of sleep because of work and 21% said they have missed family events because of their job.
The pressure to overwork, however, may not be solely self-inflicted, the survey findings suggest. Seventeen percent of the respondents report that their jobs have management policies that make it hard for them to take time off from their job or leave work in the case of an emergency. Nearly 20% think it necessary to go to work even when they are sick or injured.
Vacations Delay Death
New research suggests that working for years without taking vacations could put people at risk for early death, particularly from heart disease.
· Researchers analyzed the relationship between death rates and vacation frequency in more than 12,000 men who participated in a study of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors.
· The Difference in death rates was most significant between the 13% of participants who never took a vacation and the 26% who reported taking five vacations a year.
· The five-vacation group had a one-third lower risk of dying during the 9-year study period compared with the no-vacation group.
- Even more significant, the five-vacation group had a 40% lower risk of dying compared with the no-vacation group.
“Although the specific mechanism of this association remains unknown, these findings suggest the importance of considering the health benefits of restorative behaviors, such as vacationing,” the researchers conclude. “Vacations may not only be enjoyable but also health promoting.”
Psychosomatic Medicine September/October, 2000;62:608-612.