Are you Overworked?

Chances are your vacation is long overdue. Try finding the time to steal away to a state park, much less to Paris or Rome. The office refuses to let you go. One in six professionals chooses to accumulate vacation days instead of using them, according to a new study from Oxford Health Plans.

Those brave souls who do manage to escape the clutches of the office may leave in body, but most remain connected via satellite. An amazing 83 percent of U.S. workers who vacationed for seven or more days last summer remained in contact with their offices, according to Accenture.

Technology was the leash. Sixty-one percent of vacationers brought mobile technology with them. Of the 16 percent who brought a laptop, 61 percent checked work-related email. Of the 56 percent who brought a cell phone, 61 percent left the number with someone at work. (What were they thinking?) Thirty-three percent checked their voice mail, and of those, 62 percent returned calls.

But some vacation is better than no vacation. Workers who take their vacation days are more likely than their non-vacationing peers to get eight hours of sleep, eat three meals a day, leave their office buildings at least once during the day, and visit a doctor, the Oxford report says.

Folks who don’t use their vacation days, on the other hand, are more likely to stay up at night worrying about work, eat their lunches at their desks, eat unhealthy foods during the day, and believe that they must go to the office even when sick or injured. Instead of looking forward to an exotic getaway, non-vacationers can look forward to a trip to the doctor.

The Lazy Entrepreneur

“It’s a dangerous environment for actually becoming an entrepreneur lately,” says Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon strip. In a shaky market, Adams reasons, plenty of people who might have bet the mortgage on a product or service idea in the 2000s might just decide to remain dreamers until VC funding resumes spouting full-blast.

So, to prevent the oversight of any truly visionary schemes, Adams has added to his Dilbert Zone site a sounding board for folks with grand business ideas, to which Adams will supply feedback. Think of the Lazy Entrepreneur section – with the tagline “All Talk, No Funding”-as a support community for innovator wannabes.

Ideas submitted so far aren’t exactly the kind that launch industries: They include plans for a birth control pill dispenser on the end of a toothbrush and a banana protector for people who pack lunches.

Adams got the idea for Lazy Entrepreneur after inventing the Dilberito-a microwaveable burrito with 100 percent of the daily minimum requirement for most nutrients. Almost immediately he started receiving business plans from people looking for funding.

Lazy Entrepreneur is sort of a lighthearted counterpart to more serious-minded sites such as Brightidea.com. “It’s a combination of all the things that are best in life – criticizing other people and dreaming about becoming a millionaire,” says Adams.

Maybe not in that order, though.