Often, with the excitement, stress and mad rush to get everything done before leaving for a vacation, people find themselves falling ill as soon as they have stopped working and started to relax. It is a relatively common affliction, termed ‘leisure sickness’ by a Dutch psychologist, who carried out a study among more than 1800 people, discovering that just over 3% of people have suffered from leisure sickness at some point. Although research on leisure sickness, and its causes, have yet to be confirmed, OROGOLD believes that there are certain things that you can do to prevent it from happening to you.
Lack of Adrenaline
To cope with all of the stress that is experienced before leaving on a vacation, our bodies produce adrenaline, which also boosts our immune system. When we finally stop working and relax, our hormones are out of balance and this, plus the lack of adrenaline, leaves our immune system open to infection. This explanation, although not yet proven, is plausible, especially if the switch from stressed to relaxed happens quickly, and the best way to avoid this would be to take the time to relax and de-stress during the run-up to your vacation. You can also make sure that you are taking immune-boosting vitamins, and eating a diet rich in healthy nutrients.
Travel is always tiring, and airplanes are known to be a hotbed for infection. Although the cabin air is filtered, sitting in an enclosed space with other people’s germs means that you are much more likely to catch a cold or another type of infection. Official data suggests that only 1% of adults catch a cold on an airplane, but on a study carried out on a flight traveling from San Francisco Bay to Denver, it was found that within a week of traveling, 20% of passengers had developed a cold. Certain parts of the plane, such as the armrests, tray tables and toilet door handles, have also been seen to contain high levels of bacteria, and the longer the flight, the longer you are exposed to them for. To keep yourself safe, always carry some disinfectant wipes when flying, and wipe down the tray table and armrest as soon as you sit down. Try to eat some fruit before flying, as this will give you some much needed protection for the flight.
There is a lack of research when it comes to leisure sickness, meaning that it cannot yet be an official medical affliction. However, many seem to agree that the explanations for what could cause people to fall ill as soon as they stop working make sense, and that it is highly possible that leisure sickness is caused by a combination of those factors. Luckily, as we get older, it is something that we need to worry about less, as our immune systems develop more antibodies as we age, better protecting us from catching colds.