Taking multiple vacations per year has surprising effect on heart health

Going on vacation is good for your heart, a new study reveals, highlighting another reason to treasure time away from the office. According to the researchers, going on vacation offers benefits related to metabolic health, particularly in individuals who go on vacation multiple times per year. Lowered metabolic risks are associated with improvements to overall heart health risks over one's lifetime.

Over past years, a growing body of research has revealed the various health benefits offered by vacation time, specifically getting away from the office, relaxing, and engaging in recreational activities. Time off is known to confer mental health benefits, including a reduction in anxiety and depression in some individuals.

The potential benefits aren't limited to just mental health, however, as revealed by the new study from Syracuse University. Researchers looked at the number of vacations taken per year and how they're associated with heart health. The results point toward benefits that include lowered risk of metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms.

Metabolic syndrome is described as a series of conditions that exist as risk factors for future heart health troubles, including increased risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or developing diabetes. The risk factors covered by metabolic syndrome are vast and include high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, and high blood sugar.

Lowering metabolic risks has a positive effect on heart health over the years, decreasing the odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the study concludes, going on vacation can be beneficial to one's future heart health, an effect that is amplified by taking a greater number of vacations annually.

Bryce Hruska, one of the researchers behind the study, said:

One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 percent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize 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.