Healthy & important: Holidays

Trekking trips, cultural tours or cruises: that's how versatile our vacations look today. But that was not always the case.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, many cities were characterized by industrialization. This meant: high production and progress, but also exhaust fumes, waste, noise and bad air, little space for workers and the poorer classes.

Fresh country air for recreation

In turn, country life was idealized as «healthy» and «natural», which is why everyone who could afford it went to the mountains and countryside for «summer retreats» and spa stays. For children from poor backgrounds, there were so-called "vacation colonies" where they were supposed to recover in the countryside from the dirt and noise of the city.

No vacations for workers

Summer resorts, cures and vacation colonies: These are the predecessors of our vacations. However, it took quite a while before recreation was regulated by law as it is today. For workers, summer retreats and stays at health spas were almost impossible. On the one hand for financial reasons, on the other hand because vacations were only an incentive for them: If, then as a reward.

Vacation enshrined in law since 1966

In 1940, politics took up the issue. With the ulterior motive of stimulating the economy, Federal Councillor Enrico Celio called for vacations in Switzerland during the Second World War. After the Second World War, individual cantons enshrined the vacation entitlement in law, but it was to take more than two decades before the entitlement was enshrined at federal level: in 1966, a minimum of two weeks was stipulated in the Labor Code.

Who is the Holiday World Champion?

Today, Switzerland is in line with the European average with the legal minimum of 20 days. The world vacation champions with at least 30 days per year are the Finns, French and Brazilians. The Americans and the Chinese bring up the rear. In the USA, vacations are not regulated by law; on average, employees take 15 vacation days per year, in China it is 5 to 10 days.

Vacations are good for us

Various studies show that vacations are actually good for us. Without them, the risk of cardiovascular and stress-related illnesses increases, as does the risk of injuries and accidents. Since rest cannot be stored, experts recommend taking regular short breaks throughout the year.


Manuela Donati

Manuela Donati