News study reveals taking vacations will actually make you live longer

News study reveals taking vacations will actually make you live longer

Some people just never know when to take holidays. Seriously, it's like they're allergic to putting their feet up and relaxing - while the rest of us like to enjoy holidays abroad or a nice little staycation. But did you know that being lazy is actually more healthy than toiling away in the office? It's true. People often say that working long and hard keeps you active, but now it seems that new evidence has come to light which suggests that taking long and regular vacations is actually the secret to a long life. Don't believe me? Then just take a quick gander at the evidence, and make your own mind up.

The research comes courtesy of the University of Helsinki in Finland, and first began way back in the 60s, before turning into a longitudinal study in the 1970s which investigated heart diseases - looking at which mid-life risk factors can impact overall quality of life and well-being later in their twilight years.

The study's participants were arranged into two separate groups. In one, the men didn't change their lifestyle at all, but the other group were given health advice and were told to regularly exercise, improve their diet, and stop smoking. The researcher learned that the dudes who changed their lifestyles for the better actually ended up with a higher mortality rate than those who simply took more time off.

After 15 years, the people in the intervention group actually ended up with a far higher mortality rate than those in the control group. The culprit appears to be a combination of too much stress, not enough sleep and zero vacation time. Alarmingly, the people who made all those lifestyle changes still had a 37 percent higher chance of dying than those people who took vacations lasting less than three weeks when compared to those who took vacations lasting three weeks or more.

An image of a woman and a child swimming in the sea. Credit: Getty

The study's abstract noted: "[Our results] dispute the presence of an ‘obesity paradox’ or ‘old-age paradoxes’ and indicate that lifetime normal weight is the best option for active and healthy ageing. In fact, weight gain up to midlife has a graded, adverse effect... The results also suggest that ‘the lower the better’ paradigm holds true as far as cholesterol and blood pressure are concerned."

It added: "On the other hand, results from this homogeneous cohort do not support the notion that moderate alcohol consumption would be beneficial for health; on the contrary, it was associated with shorter telomeres in old age than among those who did not consume alcohol. Also, higher levels of other midlife risk factors such as BMI, smoking and cholesterol have been related to shorter telomere length in old age."

So, there you have it folks. If you want to survive to make it to the next century, do yourself a favour and forget about overtime, book yourself a vacation, and don't work on bank holidays. Seriously, future you will thank me.