January 19, 2012

The BSA look at how smartphones could be a major cause of stress in your life

Following a recent survey commissioned by the British Psychological Society, it seems that smartphone use can directly influence your stress levels.
The smartphone stress 'look'
100 Britons from different occupations underwent a psychometric stress test and were quizzed on the interactions they had with their smartphones throughout the day. The results eluded to the fact that stress levels become elevated based on the number of times a person checked for emails and texts.
The study talks of a smartphone’s “helpful-stressful cycle”; which refers to the purchase of a phone to help manage workload only to then later end up resenting the device due to its frequent notifications and by association, its role in keeping the user permanently connected to the networks of communication they are associated with.
Like me, chances are many of you are self-confessed phone addicts (it’s probably what brought you to this blog), checking it first thing in the morning to ‘see what you’ve missed’ or repeatedly glancing at it throughout the day. Smartphones have the ability to alter your natural behavior and even condition compulsive tendencies.
Interestingly enough stress levels dropped slightly during elevated periods whilst checking work email, more so than committing other actions. BPS Psychologist, Richard Balding from the University of Worcester had this to say about his findings:
Organizations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress, so it is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours, reduce people’s temptation to check their devices.
So perhaps, next time you’re at work and feeling a little on edge, switch your smartphone off, leave it at your desk and go for a brief walk; just disconnect, it might make a world of difference.
It would be interesting to see this study on a larger sample size of course, but chances are you can already relate to elements of this test in your own lifestyle, I know I can. Check the source link out for a little more detail on the study.
Do you think you’ve become a slave to your phone? Share your thoughts down below.
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