Ask Dr. Joy Miller: Americans need a vacation

By WEEK Producer

January 16, 2013 Updated Jan 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Do you need a vacation? In tonight's Doctor Joy, we look at how Americans vacation habits have been changing over the last few years and it is not necessarily good.

Expedia.com has some shocking news for us: American's are vacation deprived.

Here are the differences in vacation patterns of American's versus other nations:

* Asian workers take the least vacation days.
-The Japanese are granted 13 days off but typically take only 5 days off a year.
- South Koreans take only 7 of their 10 vacation days
* Americans are following suit.
- In 2011, Americans had an average of 14 days vacation and took only 12 days off
- In 2012, Americans had an average of 12 days off and only took 10 days off
* Europeans see vacation as a duty and have between 25-30 days available to them in addition to state and national holidays

How does this relate to hours worked each week?

* Americans work 40 hours a week
* Asians average 44 hours a week
* The Dutch only work 35 hours a week

Why do so many people choose not to take vacation time?

* Inability to coordinate time off with family and friends tend to cause roll-overs of vacation times and lost days
* Financial worries: Many people can't afford time off and need to work and gain overtime pay
* Fear of consequences: Many workers fear that if they take time off they will risk their job due to performance issues.

What are suggestions for vacation deprived?

* Remember that everyone needs time to replenish and renew. If you don't feel you can take all of your vacation days, make sure that the days you take are true vacation days
* Disconnect when you are on vacation. Focus on friends, family and relaxation and leave your iPad, iPhones and computers in the hotel room.
* If you can't go for long vacations consider 3 or 4 day weekends to help you replenish and renew

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