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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Holidays 'good for your health': Experiment

Getting away from it all may improve stress levels and lower blood pressure

Staycations continued...

"Well, the first thing to say is that they didn't test anybody who'd stayed in the UK," says Christine Webber, who carried out the psychotherapeutic tests for the experiment. "Secondly, nobody took their children on the holiday - and that actually does take out of the experiment quite a lot of people," she tells BootsWebMD.

The other cautionary note is that this is an extremely small study group of just 12 largely self-selecting participants who were given free holidays and compared to a similar group left to carry on with their normal lives back home. "I don’t think anybody's trying to pretend that this is Nobel Prize winning stuff," says Christine Webber. "This is a small sample and it's thrown up some interesting results, but if you were really going to go big guns on the science of it you'd have to do a much, much larger study than that."

However, Christine Webber says that in the experiment the couples who went on holiday were brought closer together.

"It gives people time really," she says. "So often, when people are very, very busy they don't have time for each other - they don't have time to have a leisurely meal, let alone sex. So I think that a holiday does really genuinely help couples reconnect and be companionable."


She has a few tips for those who cannot afford to go on holiday but would still like to improve their health:

  • Sleep more
  • Take part in new activities
  • Reconnect as a couple by going out together
  • Take some time out to make changes to your life
  • Break free for work by having, for instance, a computer free day
  • Have fun as a family

Reviewed on January 29, 2013

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