New Travel Study Finds Vacations Can Offer Health Benefits
By Kate Rice
May 16, 2012 11:21 PM
A flurry of new studies show that an increasing number of Americans plan to take a vacation this summer. And another newly released study details the health benefits of taking a vacation and finds that more than half of Americans think doctors should be able to prescribe vacations to treat stress. The research found, not surprisingly, that more than nine out of 10 Americans say they feel happier after taking a vacation. And 77 percent believe that their overall health improves after a getaway.
“Vacations will greatly improve your quality of life," said Dr. Ian Smith, health and wellness expert; member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; and author of New York Times bestsellers, “The Fat Smash Diet,” “The 4 Day Diet,” “Happy” and his latest book, “The Truth About Men.” “Americans are always on the go and that rapid pace has serious effects on the deterioration of the mind and body. I hope the findings of this research inspire Americans to take their wellbeing into their own hands and take the time to get away."
That said, the amount of unused vacation time is increasing. More than half of employed Americans have either lost, or know someone who has lost unused vacation time off from work. Eighty-two percent of survey participants report vacations are equally, if not more important in tough economic times.
Eighty-two percent said that some of their happiest moments in life were during vacations. And 59 percent believe that losing paid vacation time decreases a person’s well being. The research, conducted by the Washington, D.C.-area firm, Heart+Mind Strategies, surveyed 1,000 U.S. residents by phone between the ages of 21 and 74 who have taken at least one overnight trip for vacation or pleasure in the last 12 months. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority commissioned the study.
The latest survey finding that Americans plan to travel more this summer comes from CouponCabin.com, whose survey found that one-in-five (17 percent) U.S. adults said they are much more likely to take a vacation this summer compared to last. An additional 22 percent said they are somewhat more likely to take a vacation this summer compared to last. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from April 27 to May 1, 2012, among 2,212 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.