Thinking about skipping those vacation days? Don't. One of the longest follow-up studies in the world finds vacations can actually prolong your life.
And if you think your spin classes and kombucha habit will make up for postponing that dream cruise and save you from your jam-packed, hard driving life, think again. An improved, healthier lifestyle will not compensate for working too hard and not taking your holidays, University of Helsinki professor Timo Strandberg said Tuesday at the annual European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress. "Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress."
The new findings are a follow-up to the Helsinki Businessmen Study, research that for decades has followed 1,222 male executives born between 1919 and 1934. Each had at least one risk factor for heart disease (for example, the men smoked, were overweight, or had high blood pressure or high cholesterol).
The research, which began in the 1960s, evolved into a longitudinal study in the 1970s to better understand cardiovascular diseases. The work was extended through 2014 as a longitudinal study, focusing in part on how mid-life risk factors can impact quality of life and well-being in old age.