Holidays can help us live longer, according research from Kuoni and Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity.
The Holiday Health Experiment, conducted between summer and autumn 2012, tested participants who were divided into a travel group and a non-travel group.
The tests found the average blood pressure of the holidaymakers dropped by 6% while the average of the non-holidaymakers went up over the same period by 2%.
The sleep quality of the holidaymakers improved while that of the non-holidaymakers deteriorated – and the ability to recover from stress saw an average improvement of 29% among holidaymakers, compared to a 71% for the non-holidaymakers.
Derek Jones, Kuoni managing director, said: ‘This study backs up with evidence the long-held belief that holidays are good for our health.
‘I hope people will acknowledge not only a boost to their productivity, but to their longevity from taking full annual leave, preferably peppered throughout the year.
‘Saying you’re too busy to take your full entitlement could be counterproductive. Regular holidays can be counted as preventive medicine.’
Dr Lucy Goundry, Nuffield Health, medical director, wellbeing, added: ‘As many as a third of workers do not take their full holiday entitlement each year. I urge everyone to ensure they plan their holidays carefully, working hard is important but so is taking time to rest and recuperate.’
Psychotherapist Christine Webber commented: ‘I have discovered that these benefits continue well past the vacation – in fact, for months afterwards.’
To see the report from Kuoni, click here.