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The next time your boss gives you grief about an unanswered email sent after-hours, tell him this: a new study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University, Virginia Tech, and Lehigh University suggests that answering after-work emails is bad for your health.

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Researchers analyzed data from 385 surveys completed by professionals in a range of professional fields. Participants answered questions about the amount of time spent on email outside of work, their perceptions of the work-family balance, their emotional exhaustion levels, and their perceived psychological detachment from work during off-hours.

Unsurprisingly, researchers discovered that after-hours emails were a significant job stressor, with an impact similar to high workload and interpersonal conflict.

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It’s not just receiving the emails that stresses us out—it’s the anticipation of receiving those emails. The study found that just knowing a work-related email could be on its way “contributed to emotional exhaustion.” Again, most of us could have told them that.

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As the study explains:

So, ladies, put that iPhone away, close that email app, turn off the computer, and actually enjoy your life while you still have one!

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