Vacation time is something we all treasure – we save, we wait for those few days we can take a break from the mundanity of life. A few moments of joy that can help people regroup and reorganize before going back to the routine. A recent study may have aided in validating the importance of holiday season – by proving its value to health of our hearts. Conducted by professors Bryce Hruska and Brooks Gump of the Syracuse University and other researchers, the study reveals the benefits of a vacation for our heart health.
"What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms," said Hruska, who is an assistant professor of public health at Syracuse University's Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
"Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease,” he continued, “This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated."
In a nut shell, the study says that individuals can reduce their metabolic symptoms - and therefore their risk of cardiovascular disease - simply by going on vacation. The assistant professor further added that the researchers were “still learning what it is about vacations that make them beneficial for heart health.” “But at this point,” he said. “What we do know that it is important for people to use the vacation time that is available to them.”
He continued that “one of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 per cent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize all the time available to them.”
“Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that's already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit,” he concluded.