Leisure time sickness: How leisure time can make you sick

Leisure time illness: Why leisure time always makes you sick.

Leisure sickness is an increasingly common phenomenon. As soon as the pressure and stress in everyday life subsides, the first symptoms of illness begin.

Surveys in Germany have shown that more than 250,000 Germans suffer from headaches or get sick at the weekend, with executives with high responsibilities and often numerous overtime hours being affected by the phenomenon of so-called leisure-time illness. The term is derived from the definition of Dutch researchers at the University of Tilburg, who referred to the increasingly common phenomenon as "leisure sickness".

The phenomenon of leisure-time illness is always similar, according to the experts, the phenomenon of leisure-time illness is always similar: As soon as those affected have a little free time and the daily pressure subsides, the throat begins to tingle, the head roars and a cold sets in itself. More and more workers feel this is an almost typical phenomenon on vacation, according to reports by psychologists. And in science, too, the phenomenon of leisure-time illness is taken seriously. The experts assume that the body can no longer rest during everyday stress and must constantly supply energy, explained Andreas Soljan, board member of the German Psychotherapists Association North Rhine.

For example, this could result in hypertension and a higher resting heart rate, according to Soljan. The ongoing stress can also affect the intestine, stomach and liver, the expert said. As soon as the body comes to rest on vacation, those affected only notice how badly they are doing, explained the psychotherapist. Therefore, Soljan recommends relaxing the body as often as possible and generally sufficient exercise. "People have to take more care that the body finds relaxation again," emphasized Soljan. Because if the warning signals are ignored for too long, psychosomatic illnesses can occur in the worst case, according to the expert.

Leisure-time illness relatively widespread The phenomenon of leisure-time illness is becoming more and more widespread among the population and "is definitely a trend, felt for ten years," emphasized the psychotherapist Andreas Soljan. According to Soljan, there is agreement among the experts that more and more people only register their physical problems in their leisure time due to constant overload. Although health insurance companies and statistical authorities do not charge when workers report sick leave while on vacation, companies also confirm the trend towards leisure-time illness, as Marianne Giesert from the educational union of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) explained.

The Dutch scientists who gave the phenomenon its name have observed in their studies that leisure-time illness primarily affects men and women with a high workload and a sense of responsibility, whereby psychologists are also responsible for a lack of exercise and excessive media consumption for the phenomenon do. Relaxation - also in everyday life - is, according to most experts, the key to avoiding the leisure-time illness, although it has to be analyzed what really contributes to the relaxation of those affected. "Don't just watch TV," the Soljan warns, but instead, for example, take a bath in peace, drink a tea or simply take the time for a nice breakfast again. Because if the process does not succeed, not only do psychosomatic illnesses threaten, but another scenario that, according to the Düsseldorf psychotherapist, cannot be desirable for anyone. "At some point it can be so far that I'm afraid of holidays because then I could go bad again," warned Andreas Soljan. (fp)

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