E-Mail = Stress? Of Course, Says Temple U. Psychology Prof

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A recent study linking e-mail to stress comes as no surprise to a psychology professor at Temple University.

The study put 13 workers on heart monitors as they went through their daily grind, and then the same work but without the e-mail.  It found a cardiac marker of stress during the e-mail period.

041708 don hantula 002 E Mail = Stress?  Of Course, Says Temple U. Psychology Prof

(Prof. Don Hantula. Photo from Temple Univ.)

Don Hantula (right), a Temple psychology professor who has read the study, says some media reports have sensationalized its conclusions, “but I think the real bottom line here is that the sort of results we see here of heightened vigilance being associated with other markers of stress are something that have been part of our history forever.”

For example, he says, being on the lookout for wolves or bears was more stressful that hanging out by the campfire.  But back then, Hantula points out, you wouldn’t have had guard duty 24/7.  He says turning off the e-mail, and thus the heightened vigilance to check this and answer that, also seems to provide more focus to complete current tasks.


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