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Last Updated On: 2/1/2013

Now there's one more reason to go on a vacation.

A better reason than the desperate, impatient urge to get away from the office, neighbors, friends and relatives!

A new study in the U.K. has found that vacations can help us live longer.

Tour operator Kuoni and healthcare charity Nuffield Health conducted the study between summer and autumn 2012 to establish whether the ‘feel good factor’ generated by vacations is based on physical and psychological fact.

Key findings of Kuoni-Nuffield Health study:

* Average blood pressure of vacationers dropped by a beneficial 6% while the average of non-vacationers went up over the same period by 2% (Avoiding high blood pressure is crucial to avert risk of stroke and heart attacks).

* Sleep quality of vacationers improved while that of stay-homers deteriorated. Vacationers supposedly saw a 17% boost while the average for non-vacationers was down by 14% (Quality of sleep is vital for the body to physically and mentally repair).

* The ability to recover from stress (known as stress-resilience test) saw an average improvement of 29% among vacationers. This compared to a 71% slide in stress resilience scores among non-vacationers (higher the stress resilience score the better the body recovers from stress efficiently).

During the same period, psychotherapeutic tests were conducted by psychotherapist Christine Webber.

It seems the positive effect of vacation effects continued for at least two weeks after returning home.

The 12 participants in the experiment were divided into two groups - a travel group and a non-travel group.

All had stress-resilience testing and a 360+ Health Assessment done by Nuffield Health.

Both groups wore heart monitors to measure their sleep patterns and resilience to stress, had psychotherapeutic tests and were provided dietary and lifestyle advice in summer 2012.

Six participants in one group were then packed off on a two-week vacation to Thailand, Peru or Maldives. The other six stayed at home and continued working.

In September 2012, all participants underwent a second set of clinical and psychological tests and wore heart monitors for 72 hours.

Other Benefits of Vacations

* Decreases in blood glucose levels, reducing risk of diabetes

* Improved body shape (losing weight around their middles) which may lower risk of heart disease and diabetes

* Improved energy levels and mood

Bottom line, vacations are a stress-buster that can make people feel happier and more rested.

So where are you going on your next vacation?