Everyone likes going on vacation. And now science has pinpointed the ideal length of time you need to be away to enjoy the full benefits of a holiday.
A new study conducted by the University of Tampere in Finland suggests that eight days is the perfect amount of time to achieve the maximum amount of relaxation and happiness without growing bored or homesick.
The positive benefits of time off kick in on day one, but scientists speculate that it takes until day eight for people to fully shake off their responsibilities and work stress. After day eight, positive feelings start to decrease and they fall rapidly after day 11.
After day eight, positive feelings start to decrease and they fall rapidly after day 11.
Some companies, like the Motley Fool, have recognized the importance of vacations and have initiatives in place to force employees to take time off.
The sad news is, the length of your vacation has no impact on your mood after it's over. As soon as you get back to work, you'll probably forget about most of the good times.
The risk of premature death and illness goes up without annual vacations.
So why take one in the first place? The study notes that research suggests the risk of premature death and illness goes up without annual vacations. It also recommends taking annual shorter vacations to recharge rather than taking one long vacation every few years.
The study also found that short breaks like the weekend aren't long enough for people to reap the benefits of having time off, because the lines between work and home life are increasingly crossing and employees are working longer hours.
But to really make a vacation count, there are things people can do to truly unplug and focus on themselves instead of their jobs. HuffPost blogger Renne Simpson recommends people leave their work devices at home, set up an automated message to remind people that they won't be checking their email and pick a remote destination.
Other tricks to reduce vacation stress and achieve peak relaxation include planning your trip beforehand to amp up excitement, making sure you go with people you like and taking the time to relive your time off once you get back.
They also highlighted the importance of getting eight hours of sleep per night in a comfortable, dark and quiet environment.
In the study, researchers ultimately concluded it's best to take 7 to 11 day vacations for maximum benefits. They also highlighted the importance of getting eight hours of sleep per night in a comfortable, dark and quiet environment.
The full study is available in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
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