New study into holiday ‘feel good factor’
12 participants in an experiment were divided into two groups. Both groups underwent a health assessment, wore heart monitors to measure their sleep patterns and resilience to stress, had psychotherapeutic tests and were given dietary and lifestyle advice. Six participants in one group were then sent on a holiday for two weeks to Thailand, Peru or the Maldives. The other six people stayed at home and continued working.
The experiment found that those who took part and were then sent on holiday benefited from lower blood pressure, improved sleep quality and improved stress management, with the effects continuing for at least two weeks after returning home.
Highlights of the findings:
- The average blood pressure of the holidaymakers dropped by a beneficial six per cent while the average of the non-holidaymakers went up over the same period by two per cent. (Avoiding high blood pressure is important to avert risk of stroke and heart attacks.)
- The sleep quality of the holidaymakers improved while that of the non-holidaymakers deteriorated. Holidaymakers saw a 17 per cent improvement while the average for non-holidaymakers reduced by 14 per cent. (Quality of sleep is important for the body to physically and mentally repair.)
- The ability to recover from stress (known as the stress-resilience test) saw an average improvement of 29 per cent among holidaymakers. This compared to a 71 per cent fall in stress resilience scores among the non-holidaymakers. (The higher the stress resilience score the better the body is recovering from stress efficiently.)
Dr. Lucy Goundry Nuffield Health, Medical Director, Wellbeing said: