If you think burning the candle at both ends is the key to getting ahead in your career, you may want to think again. Americans work long hours at the office and often continue to check email or make calls after hours. Now that we’ve gotten so used to being wired 24/7, we sometimes don’t even think about taking time off.
But is this “all work and no play” attitude benefitting us?
Nope! In fact, it could be doing more harm than good.
Here are 5 great reasons to take a break from work:
Better health – Vacations are good for your physical and mental health, and these benefits are backed by science. Multiple studies have found that people who take vacations lower their risk of heart disease. Studies also show lower stress-related physical complaints, such as headaches, in people who take vacations.
Lower stress – Getting away from the daily grind can help you relax and unwind. This can lower stress levels, which is a good thing since chronic stress can negatively affect your health in numerous ways and may even lead to weight gain.
More sleep – Not getting in the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night like many Americans? Vacation allows you to catch up on some much needed sleep. Skip the alarm and let your body wake up naturally for a more restful snooze.
Increased physical activity – Sitting is the new smoking and many office workers sit for far too many hours each day. Even getting in a regular workout doesn’t negate the ill effects of sitting so much. But when you’re on vacation, you can pursue recreational activities that keep your body moving.
Improved productivity – Time off from work allows you to recharge so you return energized and more productive than if you didn’t take a break. Nearly two-thirds of employees surveyed said their productivity and concentration improve after taking time off and over 90% of employers agree with this sentiment.
Despite the benefits of time off, more than 50% of workers in the U.S. don’t take advantage of at least some of their paid vacation days each year, according to a 2016 study done by Bankrate. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans leave over 650 million vacation days on the table each year!
With so many good reasons to take time off, what’s keeping you glued to your desk? Using your vacation days is good for your physical and mental health and may even give you the edge you’re looking for at work.