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Why has e-mail become a source of constant stress?

Most of us are inextricably linked to our phones or computers and fear missing an important message from colleagues or partners. According to new research, these fears can lead to constant stress.

Scientists claim that if we limit checking e-mail to 3 times a day, we can significantly improve our mental health.

Technological advances have led to the emergence of the ‘professional’ always-on-line culture, where people are available 24 hours a day by phone and/or email, greatly limiting the recovery required to the forces time to rest.

Psychologists advise office workers and company managers to check all electronic correspondence at the same time, not to respond to each message separately and not to use work e-mail at home.

124 people participated in the new study by scientists from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Approximately 2/3 of them had completed their higher education or were students, and the rest worked in various sectors of the economy – health care, scientific activities, in the field of finance, in management and in information technology.

Some of the participants were asked to limit checking their e-mail to 3 times a week. Others were allowed to check their e-mail as they normally did. After a week, the groups exchanged their places.

During the entire period of the study, the participants were asked daily about how they felt, what their mental state was, and in particular how stressed they felt.

As a result of the surveys conducted, it was found that the participants felt calmer when they limited the use of phones and computers.

It should be recalled in this connection that the results of previous research by German scientists showed that checking work e-mail at home has a serious negative impact on people’s mental health.

Those who checked work e-mail or answered their boss’s phone calls in the evening or on weekends often complained of insomnia, headaches, anxiety and stomach problems.

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