A study by the University of Helsinki, Finland, and published by the Journal of Nutrition, Heath & Aging, has found that men who were given more holidays as well as exercising and eating well lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Professor Timo Strandberg said: "In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations. This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the intervention. Don't think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays. Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress ... Rather, they suggest that stress reduction is an essential part of programs aimed at reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle advice should be wisely combined with modern drug treatment to prevent cardiovascular events in high-risk individuals."
Over 1,200 businessmen, who were between the ages of 40 and 55 in 1974 and 1975, were selected to take part in the study. They were placed into two groups - one which were a control group, and the other which were given exercise and nutrition advice every fourth or five months. They were also told to quit smoking.