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America's No Vacation Health Issue

America's No Vacation Health Issue

The United States is one of the only developed countries that does not require its employees to take vacation days, according to a healthline article, How America’s “No Vacation” Culture Is Harming Our Health.

In the United Kingdom (the island of Great Britain and part of Ireland) it is mandated that people take 28 days of paid time off per year, and in Denmark, France and Sweden it is mandated people take 25 days of paid time off per year.

In 2013, a study found that only one in four Americans were offered paid time off through their employer. In 2016, the average employee took off 16 days per year, which equates to 244 working days per year.

“Research indicates that 60 percent of employees do some work while they’re on vacation. In addition, 25 percent say they’re contacted by a co-worker during their time off, and 20 percent say a supervisor has contacted them", according to the Inc.com article.

In a survey done by health line, 62 percent said they sneak in some work while on vacation. About 44 percent of those surveyed said they take the vacation time allotted to them, but 42 percent said they take fewer vacation days than they actually have. In all, 55 percent of respondents said they take 10 days or less of vacation a year, which may be because 42 percent said their companies offer 10 days or less of vacation. One could conclude this may be why 57 percent of those surveyed think their employer should grant them more vacation time.”

The health impact: A 1992 study that tracked workers for 20 years concluded that men who didn’t take vacations were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack. For women, it was a 50 percent greater risk.

The benefits to your health when you take a vacation include:

  • Stress reduction – Stress reduction can even be beyond returning from vacation itself and returning to work
  • Cardiovascular health – A study found that even one year of skipping vacation increases risk of heart attack
  • Improved productivity – A study found that for every 10 hours of vacation time take an employee’s performance improved by 8%
  • Sleep – Vacation help to reset sleep patterns

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health's Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/services/wellness/ or call 307.688.8051.

Reba Borden works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist