Have you ever felt a vibration from your phone, only to take it out and realise that no one’s messaged you?

You’re not alone, and in fact you could be suffering from smartphone-stress.

Blackberrys, iPhones and other smartphones are meant to help manage work, but getting caught up in checking for new messages and updates can increase stress.

According to the research, the most addicted can even suffer “phantom vibrations”.

Researchers from the University of Worcester asked over 100 people about their phone habits and gave them a stress test to see if there was any link.

Most of the people surveyed, who ranged from students to office workers, said they’d bought one to help them with managing work.

However, the results suggested that work wasn’t their only source of  stress, using a smartphone could make people tense too.

Leader of the study, psychologist Richard Balding, thinks this is a serious problem.

He said: “Smartphone use is increasing at a rapid rate and we are likely to see an associated increase in stress from social networking.”

His research even went so far as to point to a direct link between how many times someone checked their smartphone and how stressed-out they were.

This has led to what the researchers call the “helpful-stressful” cycle.

That’s when the benefits of being able to read emails and check Twitter are outweighed by the pressure to keep on top of a new 24/7 social life.

When it comes to smartphone use in the workplace, Branning suggested employers should get involved. “It’s in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours and reduce people’s temptation to check their devices.”

But if you bought your iPhone for the cool factor alone, perhaps the apps just aren’t worth the stress.

 

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