News - 6th July 2017

Going on holiday isn’t just fun – it’s good for your health 

travel by train, woman with luggage waiting on platform

Our friends at Healthspan have been looking into the benefits of getting away:


May and its endless bank holidays may seem like a distant memory, but if you’re lucky enough to have already booked in for a high season holiday you’re likely sat twiddling your thumbs as the departure date ebbs closer and closer. For the rest of us who have failed to get organised and do so, though, we could be missing out on a whole host of health benefits.


Holidaying is healthy 


According to the Icahn School of Medicine, the University of California and Harvard, just six days away triggers genetic changes that dampen stress, boost the immune system and lower levels of proteins linked to depression and dementia. 


A holiday isn’t just a whole lot of fun – it’s a healthy habit and one we shouldn’t be shying away from like we currently are –  recent research by the company Airtours shows 40% of Brits don’t use their full holiday allowance.


This might seem surprising to some – the UK statutory minimum of paid leave of 28 days including bank holidays never seems to last as long as you’d like it to – but the current British workplace means a lot of staff feel the pressure when it comes to taking time off. Workers are far too busy trying to claw their way up the ladder despite the fact that a holiday could actually leave them feeling more refreshed and a lot more productive than they were prior to having one.   


Britons work an average of 1,674 hours per year. Germans work just 1,371 but our level of productivity per hour is 26.7% lower than theirs. So they work less but produce more, says The Sunday Times. Achieving a work/life balance isn’t just about leaving enough room for life aspects aside from work, it’s about ensuring wellbeing for optimum productivity at work, too. 


How does Britain compare when it comes to paid holiday leave?


As if all this talk of holidays isn’t enough, here’s a comparative list of some of the most generous countries across the globe when it comes to statutory, annual paid leave and all-important bank holidays.  


In 2008 Finland even made the headlines after a parliament member put forward a bill to grant workers an extra week off for a ‘love vacation’ in an attempt to reduce the country’s high divorce rates. 


  1. SWEDEN – 25 statutory holidays, 11 public holidays
  2. LUXEMBOURG – 25 statutory holidays, 10 public holidays
  3. GREECE – 25 statutory holidays, 12 public holidays
  4. FRANCE – 25 statutory holidays, 11 public holidays
  5. FINLAND – 25 statutory holidays, 10 public holidays
  6. DENMARK – 25 statutory holidays, 9 public holidays 
  7. BOLIVIA – 25 statutory holidays, 12 public holidays 
  8. AUSTRIA – 25 statutory holidays, 13 public holidays
  9. POLAND – 26 statutory holidays, 11 public holidays
  10. UK – 28 statutory holidays, 8 public holidays – Entitled to highest number of holidays BUT employers are allowed to include the 8 public holidays as part of the 28 day package.


And if none of those fulfil your dream holiday quota, try Mauritius, which is way up there with 15 public holidays in addition to your 20 days of leave. 

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