Holidays are for lounging on the beach, splashing in the pool, sipping cocktails against the blushing sunset and savouring delicacies at a local taverna or inn. They are not for spending a few days of your holiday with your head spinning and feeling like death warmed up. What a waste – the lovely sun, the golden sand, the mojitos, all waiting for you patiently while you lie on your bed feeling sorry for yourself. Holiday sickness claims are on the increase and it’s time to pose the question, why is illness so rife when you go away on holiday?
First stop is overindulgence. It’s so easy to go a little over the top when you go away on holiday. There’s an abundance of sun, food and drinks to enjoy. Overdoing it can lead to a bout of illness and it’s not unusual for holidaymakers to experience an upset stomach, indigestion and a few hangovers. Too much sun can lead to sensitive skin as you try to inch your top over the sunburnt shoulders – ouch! At the worst, it can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion – neither of which would be conducive to a happy holiday. However, not all holiday ailments relate to excessive enjoyment.
There has been a rise in holiday sickness claims due to people becoming ill because of issues surrounding food, or conditions at their holiday accommodation. This could relate to the pool water not being adequately clean, or buffet food being left uncovered for long periods. If you fall ill on holiday, through no fault of your own, you are going to be left feeling angered and disappointed - but the legal system offers a way for you to claw back some of the money you have shelled out for your holiday.
However, what if you are teetotal, have been drinking bottled water, have only ate at spotlessly clean restaurants, worn a hat and sploshed on factor 50, and are staying at a hotel that’s so clean you could eat your dinner off the floor? Surely no illness could befall you then? Even the most sensible of holidaymakers, staying in the nicest places, are susceptible to being poorly.
Some people feel ill due to something called “leisure sickness.” This is classed as a psychological condition, although some psychologists dispute the authenticity of the disorder.
It is associated with those considered to be workaholics and often transpires when the worker takes time off at weekends or for a holiday. Dutch psychologists Maaike van Huijgevoort and Ad Vingerhoets were responsible for identifying the ailment and presented their findings in 2001, producing a paper called “Leisure Sickness: An Exploratory Study.”
Sufferers of leisure sickness complain of feeling tired, experiencing pains and contracting colds and flu-like symptoms. It’s strange to think not being at work could make you feel ill, but for some the workplace is a constant in their life and they are addicted to the feelings of responsibility and achievement. It seems that this is often the root cause of our illness – a change to the routine and sudden lowering of the guard. This is why it’s so important to keep eating and drinking healthily wherever possible during your breaks from work, and if you must overdo it, to overdo it in moderation.
If you’d like to receive specialist legal advice and a free consultation, call our claims experts now!