Effect of vacation on our physical and mental health

I am just back from a 3 week vacation to north of the country and was wondering as to  what effects vacation tends to have on our physical and mental health.

There is no doubt that vacation is necessary for each one of us: to recuperate from our over-worked daily schedule, to relax our body and souls. However there is a bad side to it which is an increase in weight gain post vacation.

A meta-analysis was done to investigate to what extent vacation has positive effects on health and well-being, how long such effects endure after work resumption, and how specific vacation activities and experiences affect these relationships.


The results suggested that vacation has positive effects on health and well-being (small effect, d=+0.43), but that these effects soon fade out after work resumption (small effect, d=-0.38). The research also demonstrated that vacation activities and experiences fade out after a few months.


The is no doubt that vacations cause physical and mental relaxation. They de-stress you and free you from your daily grind. However the vacations need to be planned in such a way that one gets enough time to relax and rewind. Vacations were found to give one a feeling of peace, calm and good experience.

However there was an increase in weight after vacationing as there is hardly any fixed diet. Travellers  tend to overeat. This weight tends to remain with you even after you return. So its important to eat healthy and limit you portions during meals.

So next time you plan to travel, eat healthy!

eta-analysis of… [J Occup Health. 2009] – PubMed – NCBI.

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