What are the true benefits of taking a holiday?

We all love going on holiday. Whether it’s a lazy two weeks on a beach or an active adventure holiday, you can’t beat taking some time off to do the things you love the most. However, it is estimated that only a third of employees take their full holiday entitlement.

Dr Lucy Goundry, the Medical Director of Nuffield Health commented:

“For the first time, our clinical results show how holidays helped people reduce their blood pressure, improve their sleep and manage their stress levels better”

If getting away from the stresses of everyday life isn’t enough of an incentive for you to book that break then consider these statistics from a study carried out by tour operators Kuoni and Nuffield Health to establish whether the feel good factor we get from holidays is based on physical or psychological fact.

  • The average blood pressure of holidaymakers dropped by 6% whilst non-holidaymakers saw their blood pressure increase over the same period.
  • The sleep quality of those who went on holiday saw a 17% improvement. (Those who didn’t go away saw a 14% decrease in sleep quality)
  • The study revealed that people are also able to deal with and recover from stress much better after a holiday. Those who had taken a break saw an average improvement of an impressive 29%.
  • Decreases in blood glucose levels which reduces the risk of diabetes
  • Improved body shape (losing weight around their middles) which may lower the risk of heart disease and once again, diabetes
  • Improved energy levels and mood

These results clearly demonstrate that on holiday our resilience to stress (ability to physically cope with stress) improves. Becoming more resilient to stress is hugely important as most of us will return to a stressful environment when our holiday ends. Being more resilient to it helps lay the foundations for improved productivity at work, better energy levels and ultimately, happiness.”

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