Taking holidays is good for you

June 14, 2008

Who says Australians are too laid back, lazy and spend most of their time holidaying? This myth has been shattered with the findings of a global survey conducted by online travel company Expedia, which revealed that of all study participants Australians were the least likely to take their annual leave entitlements.

The global "vacation deprivation" study found that 38% of Australians didn't take their full leave entitlements, citing financial pressure and too many work commitments as the two key reasons.

Another finding was that 31% of Australians take holidays less than once a year and 13% per cent less than every five years. Sixty two per cent of survey participants stayed in contact with work either through the phone or via email during holidays.

Health professionals are raising concerns about the effects of decreased recreation time and increased work demands on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of Australians. Ben Searle, a psychologist at Maquarie University, commented in the June 11 Age that insufficient time off work coupled with stress can have negative consequences on general wellbeing and lead to premature death.

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