“From headaches, body aches, colds, and the flu to more severe cases of tooth decay, stress, and strokes, people who live a lifestyle of procrastination are sick more often than those who don’t, and this results in health complications,” (p. 56) Pychyl writes in his book Still Procrastinating?.
He was summing up research by Professor Fuschia Sirois from the University of Windsor, Canada. In the journal Personality and Individual Differences, Professor Sirois published a paper entitled, “‘I’ll look after my health later’: an investigation of health and procrastination.”
Procrastination was linked to illness through three channels, “wellness behaviors,” “stress,” and “treatment delay.” The results of the Sirois’s study showed that procrastinators performed fewer wellness behaviors which was correlated with more illness. Procrastinators suffered increased stress which is known to be a cause of increased illness. Finally, procrastinators delay treatment for their illnesses which led to more illness.
“As expected, the results indicated that procrastination
related to poorer health, treatment delay, perceived stress, and fewer wellness behaviors,” the authors of the published study wrote.
In the coming days, I’m going to write up the actual experimental design and discuss the causal mechanisms that might be at work between procrastination and worse health.