The phrase “work hard, play hard” is an aphorism that has lost its truth. Americans are determined, hard working people who believe in the value of a dollar and the power of an honest days work. What’s unfortunate, is somewhere along the line jack forgot to play, and became “a dull boy” – or girl. What happened to all of our vacation days? We became absorbed by our job, and reprioritized our goals. When did a convertible or new flat screen become more valuable than experiencing new cultures or exploring the beauty and diversity of this world and our country? I remember a time when people were stressed they took a break or at least slowed down – today it’s quite the opposite. Is this due to our generation being conditioned to this way of life, or have we been deceived into believing more is better? People want more and more, but at what point does this thirst for material kill us? The answer might shock you.
On average the American people are among the wealthiest in the world and have more privileges than most others. Sounds great, right? The trade off is your health. America has become one of the most over worked 1st world countries on earth, leaving us tired, weak and mentally drained. The problem is that our country does not have strong enough labor laws surrounding time-off. Most developed countries require a minimum of 15 days paid vacation – that’s three weeks for leisure and travel while being paid! The average number of paid U.S. vacations is 10 days, however a large percent do not take all 10 days, due to a fear of being laid off. The U.S. is also the only developed country that does not mandate paid national holidays. Japan –much like the U.S. – average 10 paid vacation days every year, however Japanese companies pay employees for 8 national holidays, whereas most American companies are not required. At AICA we strongly advocate for the equality of workers rights in America, and see the immediate physical and emotional effects of poor workers rights.
Many people work in a highly demanding atmosphere with little control. These type jobs cause tremendous stress and alter you mood and body. Not being able to deal with stress well can lead to headaches, stomachaches, sleep problems, chest pain, fatigue and a lower sex drive. The Framingham Heart Study showed that women who took vacations twice a year were eight times less likely of having coronary heart disease. Men are not exempt either! The same study showed that men who did not take at least one vacation a year were 32% more likely to die from a heart attack compared to vacationing men. You may also be surprised to find out that people who take vacations are smarter at work. Breaking out of a stressful pattern can allow you to think more clearly, preventing quick rash decision, and allowing you to make thoughtful choices instead.
At AICA we value the health of our patients and encourage all to live a more balanced life. Healthy activity, good diet and chiropractic care are great ways to keep your body strong and fit.