Study: Americans are taking fewer vacation days than 15 years ago

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you haven't planned a vacation this summer-- you aren't alone.

A new study says more Americans are forgoing their vacation time for more work.

According to the survey by the University of South Florida, vacation times have dropped by nearly a full work week in the last 15 years.

And missing out on that relaxation can affect how you do when you are at work.

The study says overworking can lead to making more mistakes as well as feeling cynical about your job.

Think of it this way, if your boss asked you to work four days for free, chances are you'd say no. But the study found that's what the average American worker does every year when they work instead of taking the vacation time they earned.

It includes a list of ten signs that extra work may be getting to you:

-You're starting to make mistakes at work. An author of a book called, "Addicted to Busy" says that's a sign of a heavy workload.

-You're feeling cynical about your job. The advice there is to write down a three-to-one ratio of positive experiences versus bad experiences.

-And everything hurts -- from your back, to your head, to your stomach, and it's tough to sleep. Researchers say it's your body saying you're stressing it out a little too much.

According to the survey, we've dropped our vacation times from 20.3 days of vacation a year from 1976-2000 to 16 days in 2013.

Going back to the original rate, the survey says, would be equivalent to 768 million additional paid time off days every year for all Americans.