Posted 17 января 12:10

Published 17 января 12:10

Modified 17 января 12:38

Updated 17 января 12:38

Procrastination can be a sign of serious health problems

17 января 2023, 12:10
Procrastinators are more likely to have symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, pain in the shoulder or arm area, poor sleep. In addition, they suffer more from loneliness and financial difficulties.

Scientists from the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm) have found a link between procrastination and health problems, ScienceAlert reports. But what is the cause and what is the consequence in this bundle, and do procrastinators risk their mental and physical well-being? To answer these questions, scientists conducted a longitudinal study involving 3,525 students of Swedish universities, during which participants regularly filled out questionnaires.

The results showed that higher levels of procrastination are associated with more pronounced symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. In addition, procrastinator students were more likely to report shoulder or arm pain, poor sleep, more loneliness, and financial difficulties. This dependence was maintained taking into account factors that could have an impact: age, gender, level of education of parents and previous physical and psychiatric diagnoses.

Due to the fact that the students answered the questionnaires for some time, the scientists concluded that, most likely, procrastination was the root cause of ill health, and not vice versa. However, this problem can be solved: earlier clinical trials have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for reducing procrastination. Therapy helps to overcome the habit of indefinitely postponing things, because it teaches a person to break long-term goals into short-term ones, manage distractions like smartphones and stay focused despite negative emotions.

The study is published in the journal JAMA Network Open.