Reducing the frequency of checking your mail can help reduce stress, found a new study. According to the research from the University of British Columbia, easing up on email checking can help reduce psychological stress.
Some of the study's 124 adults, which included students, financial analysts medical professionals and others, were instructed to limit checking email to three times daily for a week. Others were told to check email as often as they could, which turned out to be about the same number of times that they normally checked their email prior to the study.
These instructions were then reversed for the participants during a subsequent week. During the study period, participants also answered brief daily surveys, including information about their stress levels.
Kostadin Kushlev, the study's lead author and a PhD candidate at UBC's Dept. of Psychology, said that the findings showed that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often.
He added that most participants found it quite difficult to check their email only a few times a day, which makes their obvious-in-hindsight findings so striking: People find it difficult to resist the temptation of checking email, and yet resisting this temptation reduces their stress.
The study is published online in Computers in Human Behavior.