The Holiday-Health Connection

The Holiday-Health Connection

Even before our home and business’s move to bucolic rural eastern Ontario, we at DFC have long known the value of work-life balance. (In fact, we’re working on a new solution that supports just that: keep your eyes on this space in the coming weeks for more exciting details!

So it is with a heavy heart that we read an account in Quartz of the toll that workplaces take on their employees – mostly through lack of simple downtime.  The article is titled “This is what 365 days without a vacation does to your health,” and while there’s no precise stat on what damage an exact year without a holiday will do to you, there’s plenty to extrapolate from. For example, did you know that:

  • “Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and elsewhere found that people who worked more than 11 hours a day (compared to those who worked 7-8 hours a day) were more than twice as likely to have a major depressive episode”?


  • Allowing your mind to “wander” can actually increase access to your creativity – improving your ability to crack previously encountered problems? (From a study out of UC Santa Barbara.)


  • “People who take vacations may boost the mental health of those around them?” (This Swedish study assumed antidepressant sales as a marker for depression levels, and found a “practically significant” correlation between more vacations taken and fewer antidepressants prescribed.)

Startlingly, many of these statistics are from European studies – a continent that gives the general impression of having solved the work-life balance puzzle. In Canada, the most recent large-scale analysis shows us working more than 45 hours a week, with only 23% of us reporting that we are “highly satisfied with life.” Oof.

While these differences can perhaps be chalked up to cultural expectation, it also goes to show that none of us can afford to get complacent – not about work, and definitely not about our quality of life.