Why quitting email is good for your heart
Ignoring your email inboxes can reduce stress by having a positive effect on the heart, new research has suggested
But scientists say quitting email would be as difficult as giving up drugs.
According to some estimates, more than 200 billion e-mails are sent across the internet every day.
But while they may have improved communication speeds, there have been concerns that electronic messaging is detrimental to both physical and mental health.
To assess the effects, University of California researchers recruited 13 men and women who used computers in the workplace, ranging from chemical engineers to psychologists, the Daily Mail reported.
Speaking to The Times about her experiment University of California informatics professor Gloria Mark said, “I had this crazy idea that people were addicted to email.”
“So I started thinking, the way you can test that is if you take people away from email cold turkey. You should see symptoms of withdrawal, the same way people are addicted to alcohol or drugs.”
The volunteers were asked to ignore their ''you've got mail'' chimes for five days.
At the same time, software was added to their computers to measure how often they switched from what they were working on to their email inbox.
At day 5, the researchers noticed that the volunteers became less stressed after being away from email.
Another interesting thing is what people did to communicate without email. Nearly all participants reported getting up out of their office and walking around a lot more.
They interacted with people face to face, and they reported it as a benefit.
The study also suggested that limiting email access might boost workers'' concentration levels as study participants reported that they were more productive.
They said they were able to focus on tasks longer.