Get rid of the smart phones and reduce your stress levels -- so say British researchers from the Univesity of Worcester.
The study, presented at a British Psychology Conference, found that stress was associated with personal use of smart phones, but not with work use.
Specifically, a relationship was found between stress and the amount of times the phone was checked... with most of the study participants reporting "phantom" vibrations, even when there were no real phone alerts.
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Over 100 particpants were studied with a wide range of ages and occupations. Researchers say the study established the existence of a helpful-stressful cycle.
It found that a device (such as a smart phone) is typically acquired to help an individual manage their work load. But, once the individual starts to use his/her smart phone the work load management benefits are displaced by the pressure to stay in the mix with their new expanded virtual social life.
The research found the more an individual becomes stressed and worried the more compulsive behaviours such as checking will occur.
Richard Balding, the lead reasearcher on the study, advises companies to consider this problem seriously.
“Smart phone use is increasing at a rapid rate and we are likely to see an associated increase in stress from social networking. Organisations 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.”
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