Lab Notes #13: Play the Long Game … Find Time to Play

With kids and grown-ups alike returning to school for the fall semester, it’s certainly an odd time to be talking about the value of vacation. A recent study indicates that Americans need a frank talking to about vacation and longevity: 74% of Americans have paid vacation time, but they only use close to half of it. I figure the rationales vary, but the effects are becoming clear: vacations may be as essential as exercise and going tobacco-free for long-term health. In brief: vacation time and metabolic syndrome— “large waist circumference, hypertension, elevated triglyceride levels,” etc.—are negatively correlated. In fact, “risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional vacation taken by participants.” 

What do you think are the key factors that drive Americans to forfeit paid vacation time? Relative job insecurity? We’re not talking about the gig economy directly, of course. But how does it play a role?

Thanks for checking in!

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