(Digital) stress














(Digital) stress

The smartphone has now become an everyday companion for a large part of the population. In addition to the study-related benefits of having access to study-related materials at all times, facilitating the exchange of information between students and lecturers, or enhancing the teaching and learning experience, smartphone use is also associated with risks. For example, use in the evening and at night is associated with decreased sleep quality and quantity, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. Furthermore, posture can be negatively affected, leading to chronic pain in the shoulder, chest and neck areas in the long term. 

What is procrastination? What is depression? What are sleep disorders? What is stress? What is stress management? What is resilience? What is digital stress? What is digital detox? 

These are precisely the questions we will be addressing below. We want to inform and motivate people to deal with these topics. You can find out how to do that here.

What is stress

Stress is a reaction of the body to internal and external stimuli that upset the balance of the organism. Stress is characterized by a heightened state of alertness, heightened attentiveness and a high willingness to perform. If this condition lasts only for a short time, it is called acute stress. If the inner balance is permanently disturbed by increased demands, this can lead to chronic stress.

Eustress and distress

Stress is not primarily negative and harmful to health. If there is a constant alternation of tension and relaxation, stress is also seen as positive and can have a performance-enhancing and motivating effect. It enables people to adapt well to the situation and react as quickly as possible. Positive stress is also called eustress. However, if the demands are too high and there is no longer an alternation between relaxation and tension, negative stress arises, which is dangerous to health. This type of stress is called distress.

The stress response

All processes that occur in a person and are triggered by a stressor are called the stress response. The following levels are distinguished from each other, but are interrelated and influence each other:

- Physical level: energy mobilization and physical activation. If the condition persists for too long, exhaustion occurs

- behavioral level: changed behavior, which can be observed by the environment

- Cognitive-emotional level: inner-psychic processes that are not immediately visible to others.



1. The use of digital media continues to increase.
2. Both the level of digitization in the workplace and the imbalance between the requirements and skills in using digital technologies lead to digital stress.
3. Digital stress is most pronounced among 25- to 34-year-olds.
4. The most frequently used digital technology is e-mail.

UHR results 2021

- 40.5 % of the students of the TUK report a high stress experience. 

- The percentage of students with high stress experience is significantly higher among female students of TUK compared to male students of TUK (46.9% vs. 35.3%).

- Most students associate stress in their studies with: Time pressure, performance pressure and excessive demands (as of 2016).

What is digital stress?

Digital stress occurs when a person is not able to deal with the technologies used in a healthy way. When the use of digital media and technologies leads to stress, this is referred to as digital stress.

How can digital stress be counteracted? 

There are various methods to counteract digital stress, as different methods have a stress-reducing effect for each person. Here are a few examples that can help reduce digital stress:

- Positive self-management (e.g., helping to shape your own digitalization).

- Mindfulness exercises through e.g. meditation, breathing exercises, pauses 

- Digital detox: taking a digital time-out

- Self-discipline: developing your own strategy for dealing with digital media

Digital stress
Effects, symptoms and consequences
Digital stress

[Translate to English:]

Hasenbein, M. (2020). Der Mensch im Fokus der digitalen Arbeitswelt. Wirtschaftspsychologische Perspektiven und Anwendungsfelder. Springer.


Tugade, M. M. & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(2), 320–333. doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.86.2.320

Nitsch, C., & Kinnebrock S. (2021). Well-kmown phenomenon, new setting: Digitial stress in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies in Communication and Media, 10. Jg., 4/2021, S. 533-556. https://doi.org/10.5771/2192-4007-2021-4-533.

Bildquelle: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/iphone-smartphone-technologie-916399/



[Translate to English:]

Blaszcyk, W., Lesener, T., Müller, J., Neben, D., Sprenger, M., Dastan, B., Diering, L.-E., Jochmann, A., Juchem, C., Stammkötter, K., Stauch, M., Wolter, C., & Gusy, B. (2022). Wie gesund sind Studierende der Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern? Ergebnisse der Befragung 06/21 (Schriftenreihe des AB Public Health: Prävention und psychosoziale Gesundheitsforschung: Nr. 04/P21). Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin.


Kaluza, G. (2007). Gelassen und sicher im Stress (3., Aufl.). Springer.

KKH Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (2006). Stress? Ursachen, Erklärungsmodelle und präventive Ansätze.Springer.

Lohmann-Haislah, A. (2012). Stressreport Deutschland 2012. Psychische Anforderungen, Ressourcen und Befinden. Berlin: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin.

Bildquelle: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/frau-verzweifelt-traurig-tränen-1006100/