A new study published by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California (Irvine) revealed that being cut off from email during the work day reduces stress levels and focus. This simple fact adds further proof as to how distracting it is to constantly check your inbox and smart phone. Heart rate monitors were attached to the employees of the U.S. Army to determine their stress levels as software devices figured out how frequently they switched computer screens.
With the small study of 13 subjects, it turns out that those who didn't have email access for five days had lower heart rates than subjects who did have access. Not only that, but subjects who constantly read their emails had heart rates that were considered to be a "high alert" state. Researchers concluded that checking messages during specific times throughout the day rather than continuously could increase productivity.