Ever feel anxious when you’re not around your iPhone at school or at work? That separation anxiety might be impacting your cognitive abilities, a recent study found.
Researchers discovered that iPhone users solving a series of puzzles performed better when they had their iPhones with them, according to a Thursday statement by the University of Missouri. When deprived of their iPhones, the study’s participants experienced significant physical changes—elevated heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety—alongside poorer cognitive performance.
There’s very little research on the effects of cell phone separation, according to the study, which was published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. But the researchers’ recommendation isn’t to kick your cell-phone checking habit—instead, they suggest iPhone lovers should avoid separating themselves from their phones if they’re taking tests, attending meetings or during other activities that require a great deal of attention.
“The results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state,” Russell Clayton, the study’s lead author, said in the statement.