Claims that sitting is bad for your health were all the rage last year - epidemiological curve matching claimed that you were in real peril if you didn't get up once an hour, while waitresses without epidemiologists surveying them disagreed that a desk job was more harmful.

It may be that emails get all of the mainstream media Scare Journalism in 2016. A new presentatin at the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in Nottingham by Dr Richard MacKinnon from the Future Work Centre suggests that it's not just the volume of emails that causes stress; it's our well-intentioned habits and our need to feel in control that backfires on us.

They surveyed nearly 2,000 working people across a variety of industries, sectors and job roles in the UK about their experience of using email. The research explored whether factors such as technology, behavior, demographics and personality played a role in people's perception of email pressure. They found that many people have developed some bad habits when it comes to managing email.

* Nearly half of those surveyed have emails automatically sent to their inbox
* 62 per cent left their email on all day.
* Those who checked email early in the morning and late at night claimed higher levels of stress and pressure.

"Despite organisations attempting to shape policies and procedures to minimise the negative impact of email, it's clear one-size-fits-all advice is ineffective. People are different both in terms of how they perceive stress and how and where they work. What works for some is unlikely to work for others. We came up with a few tips to help some of those bad habits," said MacKinnon, and had this advice for non-academics though, let's face it, they have the luxury of never answering emails unless it's from a school social engineering committee or a funding group:

  • Put your phone away at night 

  • Plan your day and prioritizing your work before the priorities of others flood your inbox 
  • Take control of when you receive email.