Navigation Links
Your Smartphone May Be Stressing You Out
Date:1/12/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Compulsively checking your smartphone may not actually be that smart, British researchers warn.

The cautionary observation stems from a new study that finds an association between the increasingly popular use of Web-enabled cellphones and a rise in stress levels.

The reason: a relentless need to immediately review and respond to each and every incoming message, alert or bing.

Surprisingly, however, investigators did not link stress to the professional use of smartphones for work purposes. Rather, it's the personal use of such devices, to keep tabs on friendships and social networking "news," that is the culprit.

"Smartphones are being used more and more to help people cope with different aspects of their life," said study author Richard Balding, a psychologist in the department of psychology at the University of Worcester, in England. "But the more they're being used the more we're actually becoming a bit dependent upon them, and actually courting stress instead of relieving it."

Balding and his colleagues are slated to present their findings Thursday at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Chester, England.

To explore how the use of iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and other similar hand-held devices may elevate stress, Balding and his team conducted psychometric stress tests among more than 100 participants, including university students, retail workers and public-sector employees.

All were also asked to complete a survey regarding their phone use.

The authors found that people typically first acquire such phones to better manage their work obligations. In turn, however, they noted that users eventually end up sliding into more personal smartphone interactions, eschewing work-related usage in favor of wanting to maintain control of one's virtual social network.

As this pattern of use takes flight so does stress, the researchers observed. And, in that regard, more is definitely more: The more often someone checks a phone for personal reasons the more stress rises.

In extreme cases, the pressure to keep in touch can become extreme, such that the most stressed users actually perceive incoming alerts (via, for example, phone vibrations) that never really happen.

"Now, certainly it's good to keep connected," Balding acknowledged. "But everyone needs a break. Some time on your own. Otherwise there's a risk that the stress and tension that builds up from keeping engaged can end up having a negative impact on relationships."

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, said that while the observations struck her as "reasonable," more work is needed to establish a true cause-and-effect.

"It could be that people who are already more stressed out and neurotic are more likely to check their phones compulsively in the first place, that people who have high stress levels to begin with are the ones who need to have their phones on all the time," she said. "So we need to see what's actually causing what."

"Of course, there's lots of research that shows that truly living in the moment makes people happier," Lyubomirsky noted. "And clearly we're less likely to savor the moment if we're checking the phone. But at the same time, it's not always a bad thing. It saves me time. It makes being in touch so much easier, and enables multitasking. There are plenty of people who can gain pleasure out of sending a thank-you email to someone or surfing the Web for information. So it's how you use the phone that matters, not the phone itself."

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more on stress, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Richard Balding, MSc, psychologist, department of psychology, University of Worcester, England; Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor, psychology, department of psychology, University of California, Riverside; Jan. 12, 2012, presentation, British Psychological Society meeting, Chester, U.K.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. ANT+ and Texas Instruments connect proven ultra low power sensors to smartphones
2. SDI Reports: Nearly a Third Of Physicians Use Handheld and Smartphone Devices to Access Medical Information - Physicians Most Likely to be Using Apple iPhone
3. Indiana Paging Network and Onset Technology Partner to Deliver Paging Messages to Blackberry Smartphones
4. HIPAA HITECH Compliant Mobile Apps Available for Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile Smartphones
5. Onset Technology and Citipage Ltd. Partner to Deliver Advanced Paging Messages to Smartphones
6. Smartphone making your eyes tired?
7. Smartphones May Be Taxing Your Eyes
8. Smartphones Really Are Habit-Forming: Study
9. ONR-Funded smartphone app exceeds 33,000 downloads in first 3 weeks
10. Language test as a smartphone app
11. Death at home less distressing for cancer patients and families
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Your Smartphone May Be Stressing You Out
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at ... on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. ... from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating ... one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ... announced today that it was added to the Russell ... comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on ... milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert ... progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: