PHOENIX — With so much work in store for us all, you’d think we’d have a lot of time to rest and enjoy the company of the office worker.
While the majority of Americans have plenty of time for their families, some employers don’t provide vacation time to workers.
And that could be putting workers at risk for illness and injury.
In a study released Tuesday by the American Medical Association, doctors surveyed nearly 800,000 workers and found that workers who were not granted paid time off due to an illness or injury were less likely to have been diagnosed with that condition, report CBS News.
For those who did get a vacation, they were less than half as likely to stay out of work for longer than four weeks.
“There’s a growing perception that health is important in this day and age and it’s a very good thing to get a lot,” Dr. Paul Bouchard, a University of Illinois medical school professor who co-authored the study, told CBS News in an interview.
“It seems to be a fairly common belief that it’s important for the health of workers, but it’s not.
It’s just not.”
Bouchart said the study also found that people with health problems were less productive.
While people with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems are at risk of having a stroke, they are also more likely to suffer from other health conditions.
“What this study really shows is that it is not just the workplace where it is very important that workers are healthy, it’s also in other aspects of their life that we are concerned about,” Bouchar said.
And even if workers do get the vacation they want, many are likely to take it as an opportunity to skip the day off.
“If you get sick in your workplace, it might make it a little harder to stay on your feet for the rest of the day, which could be problematic for your productivity,” Bunchard said.
In fact, nearly half of workers in the study reported that the time off they received was not enough, the study found.
“So, there’s this perception that you get a whole lot of vacation, but in fact you can’t get all that vacation,” Boudis said.
The study is based on responses from more than 700,000 doctors in the United States.
“We found that if people don’t get paid vacation, that it actually hurts their productivity, that they’re less likely, in fact, to stay in their jobs for four weeks or longer,” Boussay said.
“And they’re much less likely — if they’re in their late 50s, 60s or older — to return to work at full capacity,” he added.
“But they’re also more vulnerable.”