Taking a holiday could have important implications for metabolic health, suggests new research.
In a new study, researchers examined the association between holidays and metabolic syndrome and symptoms in 63 workers eligible for paid holidays. Participants attended a lab visit during which they provided blood samples and completed an interview assessing holiday behaviours in the past 12 months.
The participants took approximately five holidays and used about two weeks of paid holiday leave over a 12-month period. Overall, 20.6 per cent of the participants met criteria for metabolic syndrome.
The study found as holiday episodes increased, metabolic syndrome incidence (odds ratio [OR] = 0.76, P = .051) and the number of metabolic symptoms met (incident rate ratio [IRR] = 0.92, P = .035) decreased. The authors noted that the risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional holiday taken by participants.
Secondary analysis showed the total number of home holidays but not the total number of away holidays was associated with reduced odds of metabolic syndrome. The authors said more research is needed to understand this finding.
The findings are published in Psychology and Health.