In recent years, many employers have begun to focus on their employees’ overall health and well-being, realizing that doing so limits the time employees have to take off due to being ill, and also improves morale and productivity within the workplace. While wellness programs and health incentives are certainly an excellent first step in improving employee well-being, there is still more than can be done.
Offering paid time off (PTO) so that employees can vacation is one possible answer. Some experts believe that just the act of offering PTO, and allowing employees the time to relax and rejuvenate, can help employees feel better about their job, and feel more productive. But can vacation do even more than that; can it actually improve employee health?
According to columnist Sue Shellanbarger of the Wall Street Journal, people who are under stress for a prolonged period of time may not be able to relax after getting home from work, or even on the weekends. People need to be able to unwind and return to “homeostasis,” which is the healthy, stable physiological state marked by steady blood pressure, a stable body temperature, and other normal functions.
Shellanbarger states that research shows by taking frequent vacations, the body’s ability to recover completely from stress improves. Vacationing could even have a long term impact on physical health overall. Shellanbarger bases her comments on a nine-year study of 12,338 ment published in 2000 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The study was adjusted depending on education and income, and still found these results to be true.
Another Psychosomatic Medicine study published in 2009 also found that people who enjoy more leisure activities tend to have lower blood pressure and stress hormones. Shellenbarger notes that productivity can be hard to measure in experimental studies, but most business managers believe that time off is needed to maintain it.
Does your company offer PTO for vacationing as part of its PA Employee Benefits package? At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we understand the importance of your employees’ well-being. We offer a comprehensive portfolio of group health benefits, including dental, disability, consumer-driven health care plans, and more. For more information about our benefits packages as well as our other Business Insurance products throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, please contact us at (888) 990-0526.