Can too much homework make you sick?

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

stress evolution
Too much stress is bad, but our bodies actually do well with a moderate amount. That’s because we evolved from our ancient ancestors, who needed to stay sharp. Stress can actually boost our reflexes, alertness, and physical toughness.

After spending all day in class, the thought of still having tons of homework to do can make your stomach turn. That’s especially true in ultra-competitive schools, where Stanford researchers recently studied 4,300 students and found 56% of them are the most stressed out by their 3+ hours of homework.

According to Denise Pope, co-author of the homework stress study published in the Journal of Experimental Education, she says, “We found a clear connection between the students’ stress and physical impacts – migraines, ulcers and other stomach problems, sleep deprivation and exhaustion, and weight loss.” Whoa!

While it’s important to practice concepts learned in class at home, so that our minds don’t forget, going non-stop can be physically and mentally damaging. Parents can help by being encouraging and offering tutoring when they can, while students can be strategic with time management. Put down the smartphones and tablets, because a few minutes here and a few minutes there of social media or texting really adds up. Falling behind just puts extra stress in the back of your mind, so get that work done as soon as possible.

If you’re still struggling, see your teacher during the school day for extra help during brunch or lunch. They’re often more than happy to help. Most importantly, stay hydrated with lots of water, sleep at regular hours, and eat nutritious meals. Your body’s energy levels play a huge role in how much stress you can handle.

Featured image courtesy of CUNY Academic Commons on Flickr. Image of bear encounter courtesy of Scientific American on YouTube.