Researchers from the Netherlands, Germany and Finland conducted a longitudinal field study to investigate the effects of recreational travel on work performance. They assessed 48 workers before and after a vacation and found that participants displayed higher levels of cognitive flexibility upon returning to work from their holiday travels. The idea is that new, diversifying experiences engender creativity. Moreover, vacations help to replenish our mental resources. Vacationers who traveled abroad enjoyed slightly enhanced benefits compared to vacationers who stayed in their country, though both groups nonetheless enjoyed an upswing in cognitive flexibility. If you’d like to read the study, which was published in Tourism Management, check it out here.
Whether you’re lounging on a beach or in front of a fireplace this holiday season, you don’t have to feel guilty — you’re really just improving your cognitive abilities.
Image: Rideau Canal in Winter, shared under a CC 3.0 License