“No Vacation Nation”: US Says No to Time Off
By Howard Nusbaum
May 25, 2012
As we approach the start of summer vacation season this weekend, it shocks me that Americans are actually opting out of their vacations. It’s bad enough that U.S. companies aren’t required to offer paid time off. But now this Harris Interactive survey shows that even workers that do get vacation don’t take it.
About 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table—or nearly 70 % of their allotted time off!
One of the biggest reasons was that workers felt they had too much work, and many said that they couldn't afford to travel. Nearly 10% of the survey respondents said they were afraid to take time off amid an unstable job market.
If only they’d realize the health and wellness benefits they are missing! It’s proven that taking time to break away from the daily grind goes a long way in promoting both physical and mental health.
There are long-term health, relationship, and job performance benefits associated with taking regular vacations. For example, men who don’t vacation regularly are 32 % more likely to die of heart attacks. And women are 50 % more likely.
One to two weeks away from the daily routine leads to better job performance and productivity, increasing reaction times by 30 to 40 %. In addition, quality of sleep increases by about one hour a night upon return from vacation.
Simply put, people can’t afford not to take a vacation.
So, as the summer season kicks off, take a vacation. It will do you good.