Science: 5 Ways Travel Improves Your Health
November 9, 2015
Vacation: it’s great for your health – physically and emotionally.
The problem is, we’re taking less vacation time annually than we did 15 years ago. Thinking of taking time off and going on retreat? Here are the health benefits:
1. Planning a vacation increases your sense of well-being.
A 2002 study by professors at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that we are happiest when we have a trip coming up. People who have a vacation on the horizon have a greater sense of well-being, and feel better about their health (as well as their family life and economic situation), than people who don’t. In fact, according to 2014 research from Cornell University, people derive more happiness from anticipating a travel experience than from anticipating possession of something they’re going to buy or acquire.
2. Vacationing regularly reduces your chance of a heart attack.
The landmark Framingham Heart Study found that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years are 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks. Women who take vacations only once every six years are almost eight times more likely to have heart attacks. Another milestone study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, found that men who take vacations regularly are 21% less likely to die of any cause and 32% less likely to die of heart disease.
3. Getting away improves your emotional state.
Women who vacation less than once every two years are more likely to suffer from depression and stress than women who vacation at least twice a year. That’s a finding from a 2005 study conducted by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. And a 2013Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association found that vacations reduce stress by removing you from environments and activities that are sources of stress.