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Burn out? Log off for a quality vacation
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November 28, 2007

Going on a long vacation may be the best way to beat job burnout. But the kind of vacation you have is just as important, if not more, than its length -- for your own health.

According to a study carried out by researchers, the key to a quality vacation is to put work at a distance, leave the cell phones in the office and not to check email, if you want a respite from job stress, the Science Daily reported today.

"Using work cell phones and checking company email at the poolside is not a vacation. Employees who feel compelled to be at the beck and call of work at all times are unlikely to recover from the ill-effects of chronic job stress.

"This is a causal chain that eventually gets internalised as psychological and behavioural responses that can bring on serious chronic disease," lead researcher Professor Dov Eden was quoted as saying.

In fact, Professor Eden and his team at the Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management came to the conclusion after surveying nearly 800 professors from eight universities in Israel, the United States and New Zealand [Images].

The researchers measured stress and strain before, during and after a sabbatical leave of a semester or a whole year using a questionnaire. They found that those who took a long sabbatical break experienced the same amount of relief as people who took either a week-long or long-weekend vacation.

"Whether a vacation was as short as a long weekend or as long as a year, within three weeks back at work (and possibly even before that), the respite-relief effect had virtually washed out.

"Among many employees we have studied over the years,we have found that those who detach from their back-home work situation benefit the most from their respite," Professor Eden was quoted as saying.

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