Study: Americans Taking Fewer Vacations

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A lot of us probably say TGIF on Friday mornings, but study after study shows fewer of us are saying TGIV — thank goodness it’s vacation.

In fact, Americans are skipping more vacations than they have in decades.

A recent study found that’s what the average American worker does every year when they work instead of taking the vacation time they earned.

The latest Time Magazine has a list of ten signs that extra work may be getting to you — from a study done by the University of South Florida.

See if any of these sound familiar:

You’re starting to make mistakes at work. An author of a book called, “Addicted to Busy” says that’s a sign of a heavy workload.

You’re feeling cynical about your job. The advice there is to write down a three-to-one ratio of positive experiences versus bad experiences.

Everything hurts — from your back, to your head, to your stomach, and it’s tough to sleep. Researchers say it’s your body saying you’re stressing it out a little too much.

Oxford Economics took a look at our vacation habits for a study funded by the U.S. Travel Association.

According to the survey, we’ve dropped our vacation times by almost a full work week since the year 2000 — from 20.3 days of vacation a year from 1976-2000 to 16 days in 2013.

Going back to the original rate, the survey says, would be equivalent to 768 million additional paid time off days every year for all Americans.
Having a drink before dinner may make some people eat more.

Researchers say the effect is modest and it is not universal, but they say their work may explain the so-called ‘aperitif effect’ where some people feel hungrier when they have a drink.

Researchers wanted to define this effect so they used MRI scans and found on average alcohol made a particular area in the brain more focused on food aromas versus other types of odors.

This brain region produces hormone that help govern various body functions, including hunger.

Study authors say alcohol seemed to direct the hypothalamus to pay more attention to food.

Health experts say the findings don’t mean people watching their weight can’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.

Since appetite and weight control are extremely complex it may mean that alcohol intake may be one part of a very complex puzzle.
The sand you sit in on the beach may harbor more germs than the ocean.

Studies done with water and sand from Hawaiian beaches found a ‘higher abundance’ of bacteria indicating fecal contamination in the sand than in the water.

Hawaiian scientists created laboratory simulations of beaches and seawater contaminated with sewage in order to see how bacterial populations change over time.

They found waste water bacteria tended to decay much slower in the beach sand than in the water which may explain why more fecal bacteria is found on the beaches.

Study authors say the findings show beach sand needs to be considered carefully in assessing its impact on water quality and public health.

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