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The Connected Life: From Email Apnea to Conscious Computing

June 9, 2012

“Eighty percent of us seem to have it. I broke the story about it in early 2008 on the Huffington Post, and called the phenomenon, “email apnea.” Later in 2008, in talks and interviews, I referred to it interchangeably as “email apnea” and also, as “screen apnea.”

Definition: Shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen.

While we have a greater tendency toward email apnea or screen apnea, while doing email and texting on laptops and smartphones, we are at risk for breath holding or shallow breathing in front of any screen, any time. Not only does this increase stress levels, it impacts our attitude, our sense of emotional well-being, and our ability to work effectively.

In 2007, I noticed this in myself, and then placed heart rate variability ear clips (HRV is often used to measure stress) on visiting friends while I observed them doing email and texting. I observed and interviewed people in cafes, offices, and on the street. At the same time, I contacted and interviewed physicians, psychologists, cardiologists, neuroscientists, and others, to learn about the implications of breath holding and shallow breathing, especially when it’s chronic and cumulative — day after day, hour after hour.”

Excerpt from an article written by Linda Stone, at Huffington Post. Continue HERE

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