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To reveal the impact of an annual vacation on perceived job stressors and burnout of industrial workers, we compared 51 workers who took their annual vacation during the summer months to 51 matched controls - workers in the same company who did not take their vacation during the same period. Each member of the "vacation group" and his/her control in the "comparison group" completed stress and burnout questionnaires shortly before the first left work for his/her vacation, after s/he returned and 3 weeks later. In the vacation group both parameters decreased after returning. Three weeks later, stress had reverted to its initial level, but burnout remained low. The comparison group showed no change. The ameliorative effect of annual vacation on job stress and burnout was the same for long vacations (more than 10 days) or short vacation (7-10 days). Practical applications aimed at reducing stress and burnout are discussed.

Keywords: Annual vacation; Burnout; Duration of vacation; Respite

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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