Procrastination is linked to poor mental and physical health

abstract: Procrastination is related to elevated anxiousness, stress, ache, unhealthy life, and delays in searching for assist for basic well being issues.

Supply: Dialog

Faculty college students have plenty of freedom however not plenty of group. This may be detrimental to ordinary procrastinators. Research have proven that at the very least half of faculty college students procrastinate to a stage that’s probably detrimental to their training.

However this might not be the one unfavourable consequence of placing issues off till later. Research have discovered a hyperlink between procrastination and poor well being. It’s related to larger ranges of stress, unhealthy life, and delays in seeing a physician about well being issues.

Nevertheless, these research – by the character of their design – can not inform us in regards to the route of the connection. Does procrastination result in poor bodily and psychological well being as a result of, for instance, individuals postpone beginning a brand new train routine or seeing a physician a few well being drawback? Or vice versa? Does poor bodily well being, for instance, lead individuals to procrastinate as a result of they do not have the power to do the job proper now?

To attempt to remedy this conundrum, we carried out a longitudinal examine — that’s, a examine that adopted individuals for a time frame, taking measurements at completely different factors within the examine. We recruited 3,525 college students from eight universities in and round Stockholm and requested them to finish questionnaires each three months for one yr.

our examinerevealed in JAMA Community is open, goals to research whether or not college students who procrastinate usually tend to have poor psychological and bodily well being. Of the three,525 college students we recruited, 2,587 answered a follow-up questionnaire 9 months later, throughout which a number of well being outcomes had been measured.

To know how procrastination pertains to later well being outcomes, college students with a better propensity to procrastinate (as scored on a procrastination scale) initially of the examine had been in contrast with college students with a decrease propensity to procrastinate. The outcomes confirmed that larger ranges of procrastination had been related to considerably larger signs of melancholy, anxiousness, and stress after 9 months.

College students with larger ranges of procrastination had been extra prone to report crippling ache within the shoulders or arms (or each), worse sleep high quality, extra emotions of loneliness and extra monetary hardship. These associations remained even once we thought of different elements that might affect affiliation, similar to age, gender, parental training stage, and former bodily and psychological diagnoses.

Though there is no such thing as a particular well being final result strongly related to procrastination, the findings recommend that procrastination could also be necessary for a variety of well being outcomes, together with psychological well being issues, crippling ache and an unhealthy life-style.

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Does procrastination result in poor bodily and psychological well being as a result of, for instance, individuals postpone beginning a brand new train routine or seeing a physician a few well being drawback? Or vice versa? The picture is within the public area

As talked about earlier, in earlier research, individuals had been solely assessed one by one, making it tough to know which of the circumstances got here first: procrastination or in poor health well being. By having college students reply questionnaires at a number of closing dates, we will affirm that there are excessive ranges of procrastination earlier than measuring their correctness.

However it’s nonetheless doable that different elements that weren’t accounted for in our evaluation might clarify the affiliation between procrastination and subsequent poor well being outcomes. Our outcomes will not be proof of trigger and impact, however they do recommend them extra strongly than earlier ‘cross-sectional’ research.

It may be cured

There’s excellent news for ordinary procrastinators. Scientific trials (the gold customary for medical analysis) Cognitive behavioral remedy has been proven to be efficient in lowering procrastination.

Remedy helps the particular person overcome procrastination by breaking down long-term targets into short-term targets, managing distractions (similar to turning off cell telephones), and specializing in a job regardless of feeling unfavourable feelings.

This takes some effort, so it isn’t one thing anybody can do whereas attempting to fulfill a set deadline. However even small adjustments can have a huge impact. You’ll be able to attempt it your self. Why not begin the day by leaving your cell phone in one other room when you must keep centered on a job.

About this stall and psychological well being analysis information

writer: Eva SkillgateAnd Alexander RosenthalAnd Fred Johansson
Supply: Dialog
Contact: Eva Skelgate, Alexander Rosenthal, and Fred Johansson – The Dialog
image: The picture is within the public area

Authentic search: open entry.
Associations between procrastination and later well being outcomes amongst college college students in SwedenWritten by Fred Johansson et al. JAMA Community is open


Associations between procrastination and later well being outcomes amongst college college students in Sweden


Procrastination is widespread amongst school college students and is meant to result in dangerous well being outcomes. Earlier cross-sectional analysis means that procrastination is related to psychological and bodily well being outcomes, however longitudinal proof is presently scarce.


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To evaluate the connection between procrastination and later well being outcomes amongst college college students in Sweden.

Design, preparation and individuals

This cohort examine was primarily based on the Sustainable College Life Examine, carried out between 19 August 2019 and 15 December 2021, wherein college college students recruited from 8 universities within the better Stockholm space and Örebro had been adopted up at 5 time factors over the course of 1 yr. . The present examine used information on 3,525 college students from 3 time factors to evaluate whether or not procrastination was related to worse well being outcomes after 9 months.


Self-reported procrastination, measured utilizing 5 gadgets of the Swedish model of the Pure Procrastination Scale rated on a Likert scale from 1 (“Very hardly ever or not for me”) to five (“Fairly often or all the time for me”) and summarized to provide a complete Procrastination rating vary from 5 to 25.

Essential findings and measures

Sixteen self-reported well being outcomes had been assessed at 9-month follow-up. These included psychological well being issues (signs of melancholy, anxiousness, and stress), disabling ache (neck and/or higher again, decrease again, higher extremities, and decrease extremities), and unhealthy life-style behaviors (poor sleep high quality, bodily inactivity, tobacco use, hashish use, alcohol use, skipping breakfast), psychosocial well being elements (loneliness and financial hardship), and basic well being.


The examine included 3525 individuals (2229 girls [63%]; Means [SD] Age 24.8 [6.2] years), with a follow-up price of 73% (n = 2587) after 9 months. The imply (SD) procrastination rating at baseline was 12.9 (5.4). A 1 SD enhance in procrastination was related to larger ranges of depressive signs (β, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.09–0.17), anxiousness (β, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.04–0.12), and stress (β, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.08–0.15), with disabling ache within the higher extremities (hazard ratio [RR], 1.27; 95% CI, 1.14–1.42), poor sleep high quality (RR, 1.09, 95% CI, 1.05–1.14), bodily inactivity (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04–1.11), loneliness (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02–1.12), and financial hardship (RR, 1.15, 95% CI, 1.02–1.30) at a 9-month follow-up, after controlling for a variety of potential confounders.

Conclusions and relevance

This cohort examine of Swedish college college students means that procrastination is related to later psychological well being issues, disabling ache, unhealthy life-style behaviors, and worse psychosocial well being elements. Provided that procrastination is widespread amongst school college students, these findings could also be of significance for advancing understanding of pupil well being.

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