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Everyone Requires a 3-Day Weekend — Researchers

Health researchers at the University of South Australia say they are “all in” for a long weekend, especially in light of new empirical studies demonstrating the benefits of the extra time off for our health as a four-day workweek is being tested in nations worldwide.

Researchers examined how daily motions changed before, during, and after vacations and discovered that even with a short three-day break, participants exhibited more active, healthier behaviors.

Over the course of the 13-month study period, people typically took two to three vacations, each lasting about 12 days. Outdoor activity (35 percent) was the most popular sort of vacation, followed by “family/social events” (31 percent), “rest and relaxation” (17 percent), and “non-leisure pursuits” (17 percent), such as helping others or making house improvements.

In particular, it revealed that adults on vacation engaged in 13 percent more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day (or five minutes more); they were 5% less sedentary each day (or 29 minutes less); and they slept 4 percent longer each night (or 21 minutes longer).

According to Dr. Ty Ferguson of the University of South Australia, research shows that when people are on vacation, they behave more healthfully. Because they aren’t tied to their regular schedule while on vacation, people change their daily obligations, according to Dr. Ferguson.

In this study, we discovered that mobility patterns improved when on vacation, with universally higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sedentary behaviour. Additionally, we discovered that people slept an additional 21 minutes per day while on vacation, which can have a variety of beneficial effects on our physical and mental health.

For instance, getting adequate sleep can help us feel better, think more clearly, and be more productive. Additionally, it can aid in reducing our risk of contracting a number of illnesses, including depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

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The extent of these changes, in an interesting way, grew in direct proportion to the length of the holiday; the longer the holiday, the higher the health advantages.

The Annual Rhythms in People’s Lifestyle and Health (ARIA) project, in which 308 people (mean age 40.4 years) wore activity trackers continuously for 13 months, provided the data for the study. To compare movement behaviors before, during, and after the holiday, minute-by-minute movement behavior data were combined into day totals.

Prof. Carol Maher, a senior researcher at UniSA, claims that the study provides evidence in favor of the expanding four-day workweek trend.

Companies all over the world are testing out shorter workweeks. It should come as no surprise that workers reported lower levels of stress, burnout, and exhaustion as well as better mental health and a better work-life balance,” adds Prof. Maher.

“This study offers concrete proof that when people take a quick vacation, like a three-day weekend, their lifestyle patterns are healthier. This increase in physical activity and sleep is anticipated to contribute to the advantages of a four-day workweek by improving both physical and mental health.

“Importantly, our study also showed that even after a short holiday, people’s increased sleep remained elevated for two weeks, showing that the health benefits of a three-day break can have lasting effects beyond the holiday itself.

“As the world adapts to a new normal, perhaps it’s time to embrace the long weekend as a way to boost our physical and mental health.”

SOURCE: Vanguard