Vacation frequency is associated with metabolic syndrome and symptoms

Bryce Hruska, Sarah D. Pressman, Kestutis Bendinskas, Brooks B. Gump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the extent to which vacationing behavior is associated with metabolic outcomes. Specifically, we consider how total vacation episodes and total vacation days from the past 12 months relate to metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms. Design: Sixty-three workers eligible for paid vacation attended a lab visit during which their blood was drawn and they completed an interview assessing vacationing behavior in the past 12 months. Main outcome measures: Metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms are the main outcome measures. Results: Over the past 12 months, participants took approximately five vacations (M = 5.44, SD = 3.16) and used about 2 weeks of their paid vacation days (M = 13.80, SD = 7.25). Participants rated vacations positively, expressing low levels of travel-, childcare- and financial burden-related stress. As vacation episodes increased, metabolic syndrome incidence (OR = 0.76, p = 0.051) and number of metabolic symptoms met (IRR = 0.92, p = 0.035) decreased. Notably, risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional vacation taken by participants. Conclusions: Overall, vacations are experienced as positive events. This positive subjective experience may translate into physical health benefits given that vacation frequency may protect against metabolic syndrome and symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Vacation
  • metabolic symptoms
  • metabolic syndrome
  • paid time off
  • physical health
  • recovery experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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