Want to Live Longer? Take a Vacation, a Study Says

A 40-year study study reveals that taking vacations can prolong your life. In fact, foregoing holidays can’t be compensated by simply having a healthy lifestyle. “Don’t think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays,” notes Professor Timo Strandberg of the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The study, presented in August 2018 and accepted for publication in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, involved 1,222 middle-aged male executives born in 1919 to 1934, and recruited to the study in 1974 and 1975.

According to Professor Strandberg: “The harm caused by the intensive lifestyle regime was concentrated in a subgroup of men with shorter yearly vacation time. In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations. This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the intervention. We think the intervention itself may also have had an adverse psychological effect on these men by adding stress to their lives.”

Shorter yearly vacation time. That phrase should have jumped out of that paragraph and caught your attention.

There were 612 men in the intervention group, receiving advice to do aerobic physical activity, eat a healthy diet, achieve a healthy weight, and stop smoking. They also received drugs to lower blood pressure, when needed. If you want to read more of the study, here’s the link (“Take a vacation — it could prolong your life,” European Society of Cardiology). If you want to live longer, go take a vacation. Now.

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