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Fitness & Health

03rd Jul 2019

Going on holiday is good for your heart, research confirms

According to scientists at Syracuse University, people who went on holiday more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for heart disease

Alex Roberts

A week in Ibiza is good for you – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

We all know how beneficial a holiday is for boosting your mental health and reducing stress levels. However, new research suggests jetting off into the sun will also aid your heart too.

The study was conducted by scientists at Syracuse University, New York.

Assistant Professor of Public Health Bryce Hruska says, “What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms.”

What does that say about heart health?

Hruska added, “Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular (heart) disease. If you have more of them, you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

“This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated.”

In other words, people who holiday more frequently have a lower risk of developing heart disease. However, if your risks are high, they can be improved. Diet, exercise and – as this study shows – a good holiday all play an important role.

What doesn’t this study say?

While there’s a direct link between holidays and better heart health, scientists are still trying to decipher why that is.

Hruska says while studies are still ongoing, it’s important to use all the holiday and annual leave time you get.

“One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 percent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilise all the time available to them. Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that’s already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit.”

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