When you take a quick break from work, what’s the first thing you grab? Do you reach for your cellphone and start scrolling through your favorite apps? According to researchers at Rutgers, that’s a habit you might want to break.
Associate professor Terri Kurtzberg and doctoral candidate Sanghoon Kang studied 414 participants who were asked to solve challenging sets of word puzzles. Halfway through, some were given breaks with cellphones while others had no phones and another set got no break.
The phone users experienced the highest levels of mental depletion and were less capable of solving the puzzles. Their post-break performance was comparable to the group that had no break. Furthermore, the cellphone users took 19 percent longer to complete the rest of the task and solved 22 percent fewer problems than the groups who took a break without their cellphone. Now what does that tell you?