Going on holiday really IS good for your health… and the benefits last for months
Tests showed going on holiday improves sleep, cuts blood pressure and even helps weight loss
Volunteers were happier and had more energy for at least two weeks after their holiday ended
Relaxing tipple The sleep quality of holidaymakers improved by 17 per cent
Half were sent on a two-week holiday abroad while the remainder stayed working at home.
Afterwards everyone had a second array of clinical and psychological tests and wore heart monitors for 72 hours.
Psychotherapist Christine Webber, who carried out the testing, said blood pressure reductions are important to reduce the chances of stroke and heart attacks, while better sleep is good for the immune system.
She said: ‘It’s apparent from our results that the majority of people feel happier, more rested and much less stressed because of their vacations.
'But, even more importantly, I have discovered that these benefits continue well past the vacation – in fact, for months afterwards.
‘I have also noted with interest that you don’t need to lie on a beach to relax. In the experiment, the couple who went on the busiest holiday had the most long-lasting reduction in stress.’
Dr Lucy Goundry, Nuffield Health, Medical Director, said ‘For the first time, our clinical results show how holidays helped these couples reduce their blood pressure, improve their sleep and manage their stress levels better.
‘These results clearly demonstrate that on holiday our ability to physically cope with stress improves.
‘As many as a third of workers do not take their full holiday entitlement each year – I urge everyone to ensure they plan their holidays carefully. Working hard is important but so is taking time to rest and recuperate.’
Derek Jones, Kuoni managing director, said: ‘This study backs up with evidence the long-held belief that holidays are good for our health.
‘I hope people will acknowledge not only a boost to their productivity, but to their longevity from taking full annual leave, preferably peppered throughout the year.
‘Saying you’re too busy to take your full entitlement could be counterproductive. Regular holidays can be counted as preventive medicine.’