Science Simplified 2/1/23

By Reagan Oliver, Staff Writer

As college students, procrastination is a way of life, but are you willing to lose your arm to procrastination? 

Procrastination looks different to everyone. Maybe you are putting off writing that paper or actually walking up to the Health United Building, but all forms of procrastination can lead to serious health consequences. 

Johansson F, Rozental A, Edlund K, et al. in 2023 conducted a study among thousands of university students from Sweden to test the effects of procrastination. The researchers linked procrastination rates to depression, anxiety, poor sleep quality and disabling arm and neck pain. 

To collect data for this study, 3,500 college students were observed for more than nine months to measure both the time periods the students would procrastinate and the developed health issues. 

The researchers observed that the students who procrastinated were more depressed, anxious and sleep-deprived and had more cases of disabling arm and neck pain. 

Since the study format these researchers chose was observational, it cannot be certain that procrastination is the cause of poor health. Still, the results from this study and data from previous procrastination studies show a very strong correlation. 

So what can you do to stop procrastinating? Well, the options are simple. 

Some scientists, such as Fuschia Sirois, suggest working on time management skills in order to lower procrastination rates. Other scientists like Rozental feel that fixing procrastination is as easy as putting down your cell phone. 

However, if you feel that your procrastination is beyond your control, psychologists recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. It is easy to push unpleasant tasks away, which is in our nature, but it might be time to reevaluate our studying practices until the consequences become too great.