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Taking time away from work and routine allows the body to replenish and repair itself, according to Karen Matthews of Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh, quoted on npr.com. The center surveyed 1,399 participants recruited for studies on cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and other conditions, and found that leisure activities, including taking vacations, contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression among the participants. Other benefits include lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines, reports npr.com. Women especially seem to benefit from taking vacations, according to a 2005 study conducted by Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal and reported on medicalnewstoday.com. Women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year.