Featured Video
This Week in Quality Digest Live
Statistics Features
Mike Richman
A conversation with Neil Polhemus
Donald J. Wheeler
First you guess what the problem might be…
Evan McLaughlin
Lessons Shared From Overseeing 10,000+ Continuous Improvement Projects in 10 Years
Davis Balestracci
Vague solutions to a vague problem will yield vague results
Douglas C. Fair
Including the big enchilada, managerial indifference

More Features

Statistics News
SQCpack and GAGEpack offer a comprehensive approach to improving product quality and consistency
Ask questions, exchange ideas and best practices, share product tips, discuss challenges in quality improvement initiatives
Strategic investment positions EtQ to accelerate innovation efforts and growth strategy
Satisfaction with federal government reaches a four-year high after three years of decline
TVs and video players lead the pack, with internet services at the bottom
Using big data to identify where improvements will have the greatest impact
Includes all the tools to comply with quality standards and reduce variability
A free, systematic comparison of upcoming changes to the ISO 9001:2008 standard

More News

Barbara A. Cleary


What Will You Do With Your Next Vacation?

Assuming you take one, of course

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 12:01

Taking time off for vacation seems to be a diminishing phenomenon among U.S. workers. Each year, Americans fail to use 662 million vacation days, and with those days $236 billion in economic opportunity is lost, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Aside from the economic impact, there are clearly personal benefits that accrue from time away from work. The American Psychology Association reports that “we emerge from a successful vacation feeling ready to take on the world again. We gain perspective on our problems, get to relax with our families and friends, and get a break from our usual routines.”

Increasingly, Americans are forfeiting vacation time—as many as 54 percent of us—citing reasons from “can’t afford” to “too busy.” Some worry about the work that will pile up while they’re gone, and others just want to make a good impression on their bosses.

In the midst of this trend, the national parks continue to draw record numbers of visitors. For those who live close to any of these parks, they may represent a quick weekend trip, while others will haul their families across the country to spend their breaks camping or hiking. Which parks draw the greatest number of visitors? These data may help you make a decision about where to travel, once you’ve made up your mind to actually take that paid time off and garner the psychological benefits that it promises.

This SQCpack chart not only reflects the number of visitors to national parks, but also demonstrates the growing number of visitors to Smoky Mountains National Park.


About The Author

Barbara A. Cleary’s picture

Barbara A. Cleary

Barbara A. Cleary, Ph.D., is a teacher at The Miami Valley School, an independent school in Dayton, Ohio, and has served on the board of education in Centerville, Ohio, for eight years—three years as president. She is corporate vice president of PQ Systems Inc., an international firm specializing in theory, process, and quality management. She holds a masters degree and a doctorate in English from the University of Nebraska. Cleary is author and co-author of five books on inspiring classroom learning in elementary schools using quality tools and techniques (i.e., cause and effect, continuous improvement, fishbone diagram, histogram, Pareto chart, root cause analysis, variation, etc.), and how to think through problems and use data effectively. She is a published poet and a writer of many articles in professional journals and magazines including CalLab, English Journal, Quality Progress, and Quality Digest.