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About Everything Wiki » Productivity » Scientists have identified a link between procrastination and health problems

Scientists have identified a link between procrastination and health problems

13 Jun 2023, 00:00, parser
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A new study from Swedish scientists has shown Associations Between Procrastination and Subsequent Health Outcomes Among University Students in Sweden / JAMA Network that procrastination-prone students are also more prone to health problems — both physical and mental.

To test the hypothesis, the researchers selected 3,525 student volunteers who filled out questionnaires and underwent health checks every 3 months for a year. To understand how procrastination is related to health problems, students with a greater tendency to procrastinate at the start of the study were compared with students with a lower tendency.

Data analysis showed that a higher level of procrastination was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress 9 months after the start of the study.

Students with higher levels of procrastination were also more likely to report severe shoulder or arm pain, poor sleep quality, greater loneliness, and more pronounced financial difficulties. These associations persisted even when other factors were taken into account, including age, gender, parents' level of education and previous physical and mental diagnoses.

Interestingly, there was no connection between procrastination and gender and age, but it turned out that students of technical fields, single people and those who were born outside Europe were more likely to succumb to it.

In previous studies, data was collected over a short period of time, so it was impossible to track what started earlier: regular procrastination or health problems. At the same time, the sequence of surveys helped to confirm: first there was procrastination, health complaints followed later.

The authors admit that they could have missed some factor that could explain such an effect. The causal relationship is still not proven, but these data are still more indicative than the results of earlier cross-sectional studies Studies in which the experiment is conducted once on groups of people of different ages. .

But there is good news for procrastinators: it can be fought. Clinical studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy helps reduce procrastination. This is possible when the patient is taught to divide large-scale long-term goals into small short-term tasks, to be less distracted (for example, turning off the phone) and to focus on the task, even when in a bad mood.

All this requires effort, and it is impossible to carry out such work at once, trying to make it to the next deadline. But even small improvements have a positive effect in the long run. You can try it yourself: just leave your smartphone in your bag or another room when you work on the next task.

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