All you have to do is look around. Smartphones have become our double standard for information, communication, games and more. Worldwide, more than 3.5 billion people own one, and their average time spent in front of this screen (more than 3 hours a day) is steadily increasing. Although the severity of this use is not considered by the World Health Organization to be a pathological addiction, its negative effects have been documented more scientifically: from neck pain to the consequences of sleep, from anxiety to depression. Is there a cure for addiction?
“The question of addiction is always the same. The result is never all or nothing »Bruno Rocher, addictologist and psychiatrist
To find out, a team of psychologists at the Center for Mental Health Research and Treatment at the University of Bochum (Germany) launched an unprecedented experiment: recruiting hundreds of volunteers and asking them to either give up their smartphones for the rest of the week. At the same time, reduce their consumption by one hour per day. This is to monitor their well-being after four months. “We were amazed at the number of 619 volunteers who responded to our call. More and more people are thinking that their attitude towards smartphones is a problem for their healthJulia Bylovskaya, a senior researcher in clinical psychology, comments. “Participating in our study was seen as a stimulus to start doing something. ⁇
Less depressive symptoms
The results of the study, “Discovering the ‘Sweetness’ of Smartphone Use: Reducing or Abstaining From Enhancing Well-Being and Healthy Lifestyle! »(Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, April 7), say researchers. Thus, out of the three groups of 200 volunteers (Group A) and those who left (Group B), ultimately, four months after the experiment, the smartphones used more than the third group – “control” – did not change anything. A and B say they have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and enjoy life satisfaction. They also do more physical exercise.
Another amazing result: “Only Group B saw a decline in their cigarette consumption, which also reduced the average duration of daily telephone use (45 minutes to 30 minutes for Group A). Julia Bylovskaya explains. So those who stay away are not the ones who have improved their well-being and health the most. ⁇
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