Forget social networking, even email addiction can be harmful

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 17:22 IST

It is time you stopped checking your emails frequently. Not just WhatsApp or Facebook, even an email addiction can damage your health, owing to an increased stress levels, say a British researchers.

Hefty email usage and increased levels of stress as well as other health conditions such as hypertension, thyroid disease, heart failure and coronary artery disease are directly proportional. Hence reduce the volume of irrelevant and untargeted email and cutting the frequency of checking new emails is a sound advice.

"Multifunctional devices like Blackberry's and iPhones allow workers to be accessible 24-hours a day and because of this, it is likely there will be an increase in stress levels," said professor Tom Jackson from Loughborough University's School of Business and Economics.

Many employees do not realise they are stressed. During the study, users perceived themselves not to be stressed when the physiological findings showed their bodies were under increased stress. This would indicate employees might find it difficult to self-regulate their use of communication media to ensure they do not become overwhelmed by stress.

"This can lead to long-term chronic health conditions," added Jackson, also one of the Britain's top email experts, in a statement. However, Jackson argues email is not a bad communication tool but poor email training and management is the problem.

Not only does this have health implications, but also a financial cost for businesses. "It is recommended that communication managers or others responsible for email policy and management examine their email policies and develop a 'snapshot' of how their employees use email," the authors wrote.

Such information will provide an organisation with a useful foundation to build their training to increase the effectiveness of their employees. Jackson has also developed an email training tool to help employers train their staff in the best way to use email to boost productivity and reduce stress.

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