one study, men who took the most vacations were 29% less likely to be
diagnosed with heart disease and 17% less likely to die over the
nine-year study period than those who did not take regular vacations.
However, vacations are not equally good for all men. Psychologists in
the Netherlands have identified a group of men with "leisure sickness,"
a set of psychosomatic symptoms that are triggered by time away from
work. Still, this condition is rare; for nearly every man, vacations
are healthy, says the Harvard Men's Health Watch.
a vacation, retirement is a permanent change in status, with important
effects on a man's self-image. If retirement is preceded by realistic
anticipation and planning, it can be a happy and healthy change. A
successful retirement requires planning for the loss of income, work
relationships, and identity as a worker. A man should cultivate
interests to make the leisure of retirement as rewarding as the
challenges of work. People who develop interests and relationships
before retirement should be able to anticipate this change with
The Harvard Men's Health Watch
suggests that ideally, men should strive for a career with room for
both work and play, a lifestyle that is based on good health habits,
and an environment that supports strong interpersonal relationships and
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