Researchers are divided over whether using computers leads to aggressive behaviour and high stress levels or whether computers can actually calm you down.
According to research commissioned by antivirus vendor Symantec, computers are increasingly causing problems at the workplace as "more and more people experience PC rage." However a study by The David Lewis Consultancy says computer use, in particular violent games, can reduce stress levels.
The Symantec findings, based on a survey of 316 small businesses, reveal that nearly half of respondents resort to abusing colleagues or hitting the computer after suffering problems with their PC. More than 70 per cent said they had witnessed swearing at computers and nearly a third claimed they had witnessed physical attacks on computers.
The research also claims that nearly half of respondents reacted to computer problems by either "abusing colleagues, hitting the computer, screaming, shouting or hurling parts of the PC." This, Symantec claims, confirms the fear that PC rage can have "a detrimental effect on our working lives."
But according to a study conducted by The David Lewis Consultancy, computers can actually be cathartic and can help reduce stress. The study, which measured the blood pressure and heart rate of 12 men carrying out procedures which claim to curb anger, found that playing a computer game actually combated aggression.
The men participated in either a game of the blood thirsty game Quake III Arena or a variety of activities including beating a dummy with sticks. The research found that those playing the computer game become more relaxed and their stress levels were reduced.
Dr David Lewis claimed: "It is nonsense to blame computer games for encouraging violence and aggression. Games like Quake or ones in that genre can actually act as a cathartic release and can reduce stress."
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