Leisure Sickness: A pilot study on its Prevalence, Phenomenology, and Background

A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets, M. van Huijgevoort, G.L. van Heck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aim: To explore the prevalence, phenomenology, and background of leisure sickness, i.e., the condition of people developing symptoms of sickness during weekends and/or vacations. Method: In order to obtain an estimate of its prevalence, a representative Dutch sample consisting of 1,128 men and 765 women was asked to indicate to what extent they recognized themselves in our description of weekend and vacation sickness. For the investigation of the phenomenology and background of this condition and the characteristics of the patients suffering from it, questionnaire data were collected in new samples consisting of 114 cases and 56 controls. Questions referred to symptoms, onset, duration, appreciation of weekend and vacation activities, and appraisal of work and workload. Results: In the case of male respondents, 3.6 and 3.2% recognized themselves in the description of the weekend and the vacation syndrome, respectively, compared with 2.7 and 3.2% women. Most frequently reported symptoms were headache/migraine, fatigue, muscular pains, and nausea. In addition, viral infections (flue-like, common cold) were often reported in relation to vacations. Cases had generally suffered from leisure sickness for over 10 years and the onset was associated with stressful conditions. They attributed their condition to difficulties with the transition from work to nonwork, stress associated with travel and vacation, as well as workload and personality characteristics. There were no significant group differences in the appreciation of weekend and leisure activities or lifestyle during days off. Most striking differences were found with respect to experienced workload, sense of responsibility, and inability to relax. Conclusion: Leisure sickness is a relatively common condition. Specific lifestyle factors or leisure activities seem to be less relevant for its development. Concerning risk factors, the data tend to point to high workload and person characteristics, namely, the inability to adapt to the nonworking situation, a high need for achievement, and a high sense of responsibility with respect to work. Future studies should be designed for testing specific hypotheses concerning the underlying mechanisms and evaluating the effectiveness of psychological and/or physical activity interventions.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages311-317
    JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
    Volume71
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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    Leisure Activities
    Workload
    Common Cold
    Muscle Fatigue
    Virus Diseases
    Exercise
    Surveys and Questionnaires

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    title = "Leisure Sickness: A pilot study on its Prevalence, Phenomenology, and Background",
    abstract = "Aim: To explore the prevalence, phenomenology, and background of leisure sickness, i.e., the condition of people developing symptoms of sickness during weekends and/or vacations. Method: In order to obtain an estimate of its prevalence, a representative Dutch sample consisting of 1,128 men and 765 women was asked to indicate to what extent they recognized themselves in our description of weekend and vacation sickness. For the investigation of the phenomenology and background of this condition and the characteristics of the patients suffering from it, questionnaire data were collected in new samples consisting of 114 cases and 56 controls. Questions referred to symptoms, onset, duration, appreciation of weekend and vacation activities, and appraisal of work and workload. Results: In the case of male respondents, 3.6 and 3.2{\%} recognized themselves in the description of the weekend and the vacation syndrome, respectively, compared with 2.7 and 3.2{\%} women. Most frequently reported symptoms were headache/migraine, fatigue, muscular pains, and nausea. In addition, viral infections (flue-like, common cold) were often reported in relation to vacations. Cases had generally suffered from leisure sickness for over 10 years and the onset was associated with stressful conditions. They attributed their condition to difficulties with the transition from work to nonwork, stress associated with travel and vacation, as well as workload and personality characteristics. There were no significant group differences in the appreciation of weekend and leisure activities or lifestyle during days off. Most striking differences were found with respect to experienced workload, sense of responsibility, and inability to relax. Conclusion: Leisure sickness is a relatively common condition. Specific lifestyle factors or leisure activities seem to be less relevant for its development. Concerning risk factors, the data tend to point to high workload and person characteristics, namely, the inability to adapt to the nonworking situation, a high need for achievement, and a high sense of responsibility with respect to work. Future studies should be designed for testing specific hypotheses concerning the underlying mechanisms and evaluating the effectiveness of psychological and/or physical activity interventions.",
    author = "A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets and {van Huijgevoort}, M. and {van Heck}, G.L.",
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    Leisure Sickness : A pilot study on its Prevalence, Phenomenology, and Background. / Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.; van Huijgevoort, M.; van Heck, G.L.

    In: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 71, No. 6, 2002, p. 311-317.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Leisure Sickness

    T2 - Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

    AU - Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.

    AU - van Huijgevoort, M.

    AU - van Heck, G.L.

    PY - 2002

    Y1 - 2002

    N2 - Aim: To explore the prevalence, phenomenology, and background of leisure sickness, i.e., the condition of people developing symptoms of sickness during weekends and/or vacations. Method: In order to obtain an estimate of its prevalence, a representative Dutch sample consisting of 1,128 men and 765 women was asked to indicate to what extent they recognized themselves in our description of weekend and vacation sickness. For the investigation of the phenomenology and background of this condition and the characteristics of the patients suffering from it, questionnaire data were collected in new samples consisting of 114 cases and 56 controls. Questions referred to symptoms, onset, duration, appreciation of weekend and vacation activities, and appraisal of work and workload. Results: In the case of male respondents, 3.6 and 3.2% recognized themselves in the description of the weekend and the vacation syndrome, respectively, compared with 2.7 and 3.2% women. Most frequently reported symptoms were headache/migraine, fatigue, muscular pains, and nausea. In addition, viral infections (flue-like, common cold) were often reported in relation to vacations. Cases had generally suffered from leisure sickness for over 10 years and the onset was associated with stressful conditions. They attributed their condition to difficulties with the transition from work to nonwork, stress associated with travel and vacation, as well as workload and personality characteristics. There were no significant group differences in the appreciation of weekend and leisure activities or lifestyle during days off. Most striking differences were found with respect to experienced workload, sense of responsibility, and inability to relax. Conclusion: Leisure sickness is a relatively common condition. Specific lifestyle factors or leisure activities seem to be less relevant for its development. Concerning risk factors, the data tend to point to high workload and person characteristics, namely, the inability to adapt to the nonworking situation, a high need for achievement, and a high sense of responsibility with respect to work. Future studies should be designed for testing specific hypotheses concerning the underlying mechanisms and evaluating the effectiveness of psychological and/or physical activity interventions.

    AB - Aim: To explore the prevalence, phenomenology, and background of leisure sickness, i.e., the condition of people developing symptoms of sickness during weekends and/or vacations. Method: In order to obtain an estimate of its prevalence, a representative Dutch sample consisting of 1,128 men and 765 women was asked to indicate to what extent they recognized themselves in our description of weekend and vacation sickness. For the investigation of the phenomenology and background of this condition and the characteristics of the patients suffering from it, questionnaire data were collected in new samples consisting of 114 cases and 56 controls. Questions referred to symptoms, onset, duration, appreciation of weekend and vacation activities, and appraisal of work and workload. Results: In the case of male respondents, 3.6 and 3.2% recognized themselves in the description of the weekend and the vacation syndrome, respectively, compared with 2.7 and 3.2% women. Most frequently reported symptoms were headache/migraine, fatigue, muscular pains, and nausea. In addition, viral infections (flue-like, common cold) were often reported in relation to vacations. Cases had generally suffered from leisure sickness for over 10 years and the onset was associated with stressful conditions. They attributed their condition to difficulties with the transition from work to nonwork, stress associated with travel and vacation, as well as workload and personality characteristics. There were no significant group differences in the appreciation of weekend and leisure activities or lifestyle during days off. Most striking differences were found with respect to experienced workload, sense of responsibility, and inability to relax. Conclusion: Leisure sickness is a relatively common condition. Specific lifestyle factors or leisure activities seem to be less relevant for its development. Concerning risk factors, the data tend to point to high workload and person characteristics, namely, the inability to adapt to the nonworking situation, a high need for achievement, and a high sense of responsibility with respect to work. Future studies should be designed for testing specific hypotheses concerning the underlying mechanisms and evaluating the effectiveness of psychological and/or physical activity interventions.

    M3 - Article

    VL - 71

    SP - 311

    EP - 317

    JO - Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

    JF - Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

    SN - 0033-3190

    IS - 6

    ER -