university-of-worcester

Study: Checking smartphones increases stress

Jan. 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM ET

HTC /
HTC Sensation, one of many smartphones that may cause you more stress than you realize

Checking smartphones has become so compulsive, it's no wonder a recent study has shown that such behavior inevitably leads to more stress in one's personal life, rather than alleviating work worries.

The British Psychological Society has posted an article about a new study psychologist Richard Balding from the University of Worcester presented at a conference that identified "a helpful-stressful cycle":

"... a device is typically acquired to help an individual manage their work load. However, once the individual starts to use their smart phone the work load management benefits are displaced by the pressure to keep abreast with their new expanded virtual social life. The more an individual becomes stressed and worried the more compulsive behaviors such as checking will occur." 

While the researchers administered the questionnaire to a relatively small sample — over 100 participants, which included both "university students and employees from a range of occupations including retail and the public sector," — it probably rings true for those of us who have smartphones. 

If you have a smartphone, you probably already hear beeps or feel vibrations, thinking it's another alert, because you just have to know what that next email, text, status update or tweet says. And even if you don't hear those imagined (or real) sounds, then whenever you have a spare moment or have to wait longer than minute anywhere, you're checking it. Aren't you?

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