Most people find it difficult to ignore their email inboxes for more than a few minutes be it on smartphones or otherwise. A new study suggest that ignoring all sorts of messages – emails, texts or social networking notifications may be good for your heart and reduce stress. The researchers attached heart rate monitors to office workers and observed that they remained on ‘high alert’ throughout the day when they had constant access to email. Researchers, who attached heart rate monitors to office workers, found they remained in a state of ”high alert” throughout the day if they had constant access to email. Those who insisted that they had their manager’s permission to not access emails for up to five days had healthier hears. These researchers from the University of California are asking employers to give their workers email holidays.
According to some estimates, every day, more than 200 billion e-mails are sent across the internet. To assess the relation between stress and emails the scientists observed 13 men and women who used PCs in the office. At the same time, software measuring how often they switched from what they were working on to their email inbox was added to their computers to measure the time.
The findings, presented at a recent computing conference in Austin, Texas, showed those who stayed logged on to email had ”high alert” heart rates. Smartphones with their instant notifications have only complicated the issue because this makes people more inclined to stay connected. This is where the heart remains at a steady, relatively fast beat because of the continuous underlying stress.
In stress-free conditions, the heart rate is more variable, decreasing as the body becomes more relaxed. A constantly raised heart beat is known to lead to increased levels of a potentially damaging stress hormone, called cortisol. Besides this, the study also found limiting email access might boost workers” concentration levels.