"Email Vacations" May Reduce Stress
Is work email harmful to your health? What's more, is the overload in your inbox hurting your productivity and ability to focus? The answer to both questions appears to be in the affirmative, according to a study done at the University of California-Irvine in conjunction with the U.S. Army and presentedat a meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery in Austin, Texas.
HealthDay, in a report on the study, explained that the methodology was that a group of workers were cut off from office email use for five days. At the end of the trial, their heart rates had improved. Not only that, but they were half as likely to switch frequently among computer windows open on their screens.
Study co-author Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the university, told HealthDay that the findings could help boost productivity in offices that opt for "email vacations." "We were surprised by the results, because they didn't have to turn out this way," Mark is quoted as saying. "It's possible that people might have been even more stressed not to have email, to feel like they were missing out on something, so we didn't expect that people would become significantly less stressed."
She noted that members of a control group who had continued reading emails were in a high alert state when it came to measuring heart rate. They also bounced among computer windows twice as often as those who taken a time away from email.
The findings should be considered preliminary until published in peer-reviewed journal, but why not give going off-grid a personal trial anyway just to see if your stress level plummets and your efficiency skyrockets?