How Going on Vacation May Improve Your Health

Survey finds link between vacation time and 'well-being'

A recent poll included as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that Americans who make time for vacations have a higher “well-being” compared to those who don’t.

The poll was conducted over 11 months in 2014 consisting of interviews with 148,854 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older.

“…those who earn less than $24,000 annually and say they take regular trips actually have higher well-being (scoring 66.3) than those who earn $120,000 or more but say they don't regularly make time for vacations (55.1),” explains Gallup reporter Justin McCarthy in a review of the poll’s findings.

The link between vacation time and well-being is noted as significant because Gallup’s well-being score considers factors such as self-reported sense of purpose, social relationships, financial security, connection to community, and physical health.

“Previous Gallup research shows that an individual's Well-Being Index score strongly relates to important health outcomes such as healthcare utilization, life expectancy, new onset disease burden, and change in obesity status,” McCarthy wrote.

He also made note of other studies that have found a link between improved brain and heart health and vacation time.

With other research that associates large amounts of stress with many negative health effects, these relations aren’t all that shocking, but the survey results do serve as a reminder of the importance of rest and relaxation for better overall health.