Longer vacations could extend your life

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(Nicole Lyn Pesce) — Taking more time off can give you more time.

Longer vacations could extend your life, according to a study from the European Society of Cardiology.

The research, which was conducted by the University of Helsinki, Finland over 40 years, followed 1,222 middle-aged male executives born between 1919 and 1934 who had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

About half of them (610) were given advice about how to improve their health every four months, such as exercising regularly to lose weight. And researchers found that in this group, the men who took just three weeks or less of vacation each year had a 37% greater chance of dying compared to those who took more than three weeks off. That may be because the men who took shorter vacations ended up working more and sleeping less, which upped their stress levels and harmed their health.

“This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the intervention,” said University of Helsinki Professor Timo Strandberg in the report. (…)

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