Why It’s Important to Take Vacation

By Mike Pomranz |

© RubberBall / Alamy Stock Photo

Another summer has come and gone—according to the Memorial Day to Labor Day definition, at least. If you’re some hippie who follows the solstices, keep drinking daiquiris for another two weeks. But the real question is: Did you find some room to squeeze in a summer vacation? If you didn’t, you might be hurting not only yourselves, but the people around you.

Quartz recently looked into the negative repercussions of not taking vacations. Though the results are probably predictable (vacations = good), it’s helpful to get that occasional reminder of the benefits of taking a break.

When it comes to the damage you do to yourself by not taking time off, multiple studies show that you’re nearly doubling your chances of heart problems. And the tolls aren’t just physical: A British study found that people who worked more than 11 hours a day were twice as likely to have a depressive episode.

More interesting, though, is the effect your lack of vacation time can have on others. Quartz cites a Swedish study that showed that the more people in a country who take vacation, the lower the antidepressant usage throughout the entire population. They also pointed to two recent studies that state even a short amount of time off increases problem-solving, whereas working long weeks can result in lower cognitive function.

Americans have become notoriously poor at taking time off. One recent study suggests that 56 percent of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in the past 12 months. If you didn’t get away this summer, you still have about four months left in 2015 to go find some time to relax. I’m sick of seeing you around the office anyway.

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