Vacations and Morbidity

Often we're dying to go on vacation. But can vacations actually help us from dying? Maybe so.

Are Vacations Good for Your Health? The 9-Year Mortality Experience After the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial by Brook B. Gump, PhD, MPH,  Karen A. Matthews, PhD
"There are a few possible mechanisms through which vacationing might have protective effects on health."
"First, vacations may reduce stress by removing ongoing stressors (e.g., avoidance). The health benefits of stress reduction are well documented..." [especially for cornary heart disease]
"Second, vacation may reduce stress by reducing potential stressors and anticipated threats, providing a period of "signaled safety." Anticipated threats are known to have adverse effects as great as, if not greater than the threat itself."
"Finally, annual vacations may provide a unique opportunity for behaviors having restorative effects on anabolic physiological processes, such as social contact with family and friends and physical activity, in the context of reduction of stress-initiated metabolic effects."
It's official. And yes, I'm on vacation now. Off to the beach! (And a healthier life)
— Tom DeSanto

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Yay for vacations! What has happened to us as a nation? I recently read that Americans have billions of dollars of unused vacation 'in the bank'. Now that we've saved so much time with our time saving devices--we do not seem to have so much time to take a deep breath and relax! Perhaps the fuel crisis, which is encouraging employers to introduce four-ten-hour-day work weeks, will allow us to sit back and reflect on how all of this rushing around has us spinning in circles!