Preferable forms of relaxation for health promotion, and the association between recreational activities and self-perceived health.
There are many stress factors in occupational settings, and the lack of vacations could be one of factors in the context of work stress. The authors have been studying the relationship between workload and employee health. This time, an investigation into the effects of leisure vacations on worker health status using male white-collar employees aged 20-60 years engaged in a manufacturing company was conducted. The subjects were questioned on work stress factors including vacations and modifiers in their occupational settings, and on psychological and physiological stress reactions; that is, how often they were able to take leisure vacations every year, their average working hours a day and work stress factors from the Demand-Control-Support model. The questions also examined other factors concerning the employees such as type-A behavior and lifestyles as modifiers, diseases of the employees, physical complaints, feelings about sleep, perceived stress, job and life satisfaction, and stress reactions as measured by physiological examination. Correlation and logistic regression analysis were conducted with the 551 eligible subjects. The results were as follows: Leisure vacation was decreasingly related to some of psychological stress reactions after adjustment was made for working hours and for modifiers. Less vacation was increasingly related to the workers' diseases especially among the employees aged 20-34, though the association was not statistically significant. Vacations did not show obvious association with physiological measures. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness and possibility of leisure vacation in controlling fatigue and maintaining the health of workers. Vacation should always be taken into consideration as a stress factor in a survey of the health problems of white-collar workers.