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Enjoy a day off and a vacation once in a while

Staff Report • May 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Enjoy this three-day weekend, America. Statistics show you’ve earned it.

While most Americans will be off work Monday to observe Memorial Day, there will still be a number of you doing something work-related — whether it be checking your business email or compiling a list of things to do when you return to the office Tuesday.

It’s no surprise to hear researchers say employees in the United States put in many more hours on the job than do workers in Europe. In fact, Americans clock in at nearly 2,000 work hours per capita annually.

This dedication to work has even impacted the number of days we Americans take for vacation. Europeans revel in taking their holidays. Americans, on the other hand, are taking fewer vacation days.

So while Europeans work to live, it appears Americans live to work.

The number of hours worked per employee in the United States rose by 20 percent between 1970 and 2002. That hyper-productivity, however, may be taking a toll in other ways. Studies show a majority of pre-austerity European workers reported they were quite satisfied with their lives. In America, however, fewer workers could profess to such happiness.

It’s no wonder. All work and no play does make one dull. So lighten up, fellow Americans and enjoy your day off from work. And remember, there’s no shame in taking a vacation. You’ve earned it.

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