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Health Hazards of Homework

March 18, 2014 | Julie Greicius Pediatrics .

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A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework “experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.”

Those health problems ranged from stress, headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems, to psycho-social effects like dropping activities, not seeing friends or family, and not pursuing hobbies they enjoy.

In the Stanford Report story about the research, Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of the  study published in the  Journal of Experimental Education , says, “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good.”

The study was based on survey data from a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in California communities in which median household income exceeded $90,000. Of the students surveyed, homework volume averaged about 3.1 hours each night.

“It is time to re-evaluate how the school environment is preparing our high school student for today’s workplace,” says Neville Golden, MD , chief of adolescent medicine at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This landmark study shows that excessive homework is counterproductive, leading to sleep deprivation, school stress and other health problems. Parents can best support their children in these demanding academic environments by advocating for them through direct communication with teachers and school administrators about homework load.”

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Denise Pope

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .

The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.

Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.

Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.

“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.

Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

* Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

* Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

* Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

A balancing act

The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.

Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.

“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.

She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.

“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.

High-performing paradox

In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”

Student perspectives

The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.

The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Media Contacts

Denise Pope, Stanford Graduate School of Education: (650) 725-7412, [email protected] Clifton B. Parker, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-0224, [email protected]

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.   "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .   The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework.   Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.   Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.   "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote.   Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.   Their study found that too much homework is associated with:   • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.   • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.   • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.   A balancing act   The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.   Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up.   "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences..   Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.   "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope.   High-performing paradox   In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities."   Student perspectives   The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.   The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .

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School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say

Patti Neighmond

health issues caused by homework

Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill. Toni Greaves for NPR hide caption

Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill.

When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.

Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."

Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."

And the pressure is taking a physical toll, too. At age 16, Nora is tired, is increasingly irritated with her siblings and often suffers headaches, her mother says.

Teens Talk Stress

When NPR asked on Facebook if stress is an issue for teenagers, they spoke loud and clear:

  • "Academic stress has been a part of my life ever since I can remember," wrote Bretta McCall, 16, of Seattle. "This year I spend about 12 hours a day on schoolwork. I'm home right now because I was feeling so sick from stress I couldn't be at school. So as you can tell, it's a big part of my life!"
  • "At the time of writing this, my weekend assignments include two papers, a PowerPoint to go with a 10-minute presentation, studying for a test and two quizzes, and an entire chapter (approximately 40 pages) of notes in a college textbook," wrote Connor West of New Jersey.
  • "It's a problem that's basically brushed off by most people," wrote Kelly Farrell in Delaware. "There's this mentality of, 'You're doing well, so why are you complaining?' " She says she started experiencing symptoms of stress in middle school, and was diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in high school.
  • "Parents are the worst about all of this," writes Colin Hughes of Illinois. "All I hear is, 'Work harder, you're a smart kid, I know you have it in you, and if you want to go to college you need to work harder.' It's a pain."

Parents are right to be worried about stress and their children's health, says Mary Alvord , a clinical psychologist in Maryland and public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association.

"A little stress is a good thing," Alvord says. "It can motivate students to be organized. But too much stress can backfire."

Almost 40 percent of parents say their high-schooler is experiencing a lot of stress from school, according to a new NPR poll conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. In most cases, that stress is from academics, not social issues or bullying, the poll found. (See the full results here .)

Homework was a leading cause of stress, with 24 percent of parents saying it's an issue.

Teenagers say they're suffering, too. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of all teens — 45 percent — said they were stressed by school pressures.

Chronic stress can cause a sense of panic and paralysis, Alvord says. The child feels stuck, which only adds to the feeling of stress.

Parents can help put the child's distress in perspective, particularly when they get into what Alvord calls catastrophic "what if" thinking: "What if I get a bad grade, then what if that means I fail the course, then I'll never get into college."

Then move beyond talking and do something about it.

health issues caused by homework

Colleen pets her horse, Bishop. They had been missing out on rides together because of homework. Toni Greaves for NPR hide caption

Colleen pets her horse, Bishop. They had been missing out on rides together because of homework.

That's what 16-year-old Colleen Frainey of Tualatin, Ore., did. As a sophomore last year, she was taking all advanced courses. The pressure was making her sick. "I didn't feel good, and when I didn't feel good I felt like I couldn't do my work, which would stress me out more," she says.

Mom Abigail Frainey says, "It was more than we could handle as a family."

With encouragement from her parents, Colleen dropped one of her advanced courses. The family's decision generated disbelief from other parents. "Why would I let her take the easy way out?" Abigail Frainey heard.

But she says dialing down on academics was absolutely the right decision for her child. Colleen no longer suffers headaches or stomachaches. She's still in honors courses, but the workload this year is manageable.

Even better, Colleen now has time to do things she never would have considered last year, like going out to dinner with the family on a weeknight, or going to the barn to ride her horse, Bishop.

Psychologist Alvord says a balanced life should be the goal for all families. If a child is having trouble getting things done, parents can help plan the week, deciding what's important and what's optional. "Just basic time management — that will help reduce the stress."

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Candida Fink M.D.

Homework Struggles May Not Be a Behavior Problem

Exploring some options to understand and help..

Posted August 2, 2022 | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan

  • Mental health challenges and neurodevelopmental differences directly affect children's ability to do homework.
  • Understanding what difficulties are getting in the way—beyond the usual explanation of a behavior problem—is key.
  • Sleep and mental health needs can take priority over homework completion.

Chelsea was in 10th grade the first time I told her directly to stop doing her homework and get some sleep. I had been working with her since she was in middle school, treating her anxiety disorder. She deeply feared disappointing anyone—especially her teachers—and spent hours trying to finish homework perfectly. The more tired and anxious she got, the harder it got for her to finish the assignments.

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

One night Chelsea called me in despair, feeling hopeless. She was exhausted and couldn’t think straight. She felt like a failure and that she was a burden to everyone because she couldn’t finish her homework.

She was shocked when I told her that my prescription for her was to go to sleep now—not to figure out how to finish her work. I told her to leave her homework incomplete and go to sleep. We briefly discussed how we would figure it out the next day, with her mom and her teachers. At that moment, it clicked for her that it was futile to keep working—because nothing was getting done.

This was an inflection point for her awareness of when she was emotionally over-cooked and when she needed to stop and take a break or get some sleep. We repeated versions of this phone call several times over the course of her high school and college years, but she got much better at being able to do this for herself most of the time.

When Mental Health Symptoms Interfere with Homework

Kids with mental health or neurodevelopmental challenges often struggle mightily with homework. Challenges can come up in every step of the homework process, including, but not limited to:

  • Remembering and tracking assignments and materials
  • Getting the mental energy/organization to start homework
  • Filtering distractions enough to persist with assignments
  • Understanding unspoken or implied parts of the homework
  • Remembering to bring finished homework to class
  • Being in class long enough to know the material
  • Tolerating the fear of not knowing or failing
  • Not giving up the assignment because of a panic attack
  • Tolerating frustration—such as not understanding—without emotional dysregulation
  • Being able to ask for help—from a peer or a teacher and not being afraid to reach out

This list is hardly comprehensive. ADHD , autism spectrum disorder, social anxiety , generalized anxiety, panic disorder, depression , dysregulation, and a range of other neurodevelopmental and mental health challenges cause numerous learning differences and symptoms that can specifically and frequently interfere with getting homework done.

Saharak Wuttitham/Shutterstock

The Usual Diagnosis for Homework Problems is "Not Trying Hard Enough"

Unfortunately, when kids frequently struggle to meet homework demands, teachers and parents typically default to one explanation of the problem: The child is making a choice not to do their homework. That is the default “diagnosis” in classrooms and living rooms. And once this framework is drawn, the student is often seen as not trying hard enough, disrespectful, manipulative, or just plain lazy.

The fundamental disconnect here is that the diagnosis of homework struggles as a behavioral choice is, in fact, only one explanation, while there are so many other diagnoses and differences that impair children's ability to consistently do their homework. If we are trying to create solutions based on only one understanding of the problem, the solutions will not work. More devastatingly, the wrong solutions can worsen the child’s mental health and their long-term engagement with school and learning.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about children who sometimes struggle with or skip homework—kids who can change and adapt their behaviors and patterns in response to the outcomes of that struggle. For this discussion, we are talking about children with mental health and/or neurodevelopmental symptoms and challenges that create chronic difficulties with meeting homework demands.

How Can You Help a Child Who Struggles with Homework?

How can you help your child who is struggling to meet homework demands because of their ADHD, depression, anxiety, OCD , school avoidance, or any other neurodevelopmental or mental health differences? Let’s break this down into two broad areas—things you can do at home, and things you can do in communication with the school.

health issues caused by homework

Helping at Home

The following suggestions for managing school demands at home can feel counterintuitive to parents—because we usually focus on helping our kids to complete their tasks. But mental health needs jump the line ahead of task completion. And starting at home will be key to developing an idea of what needs to change at school.

  • Set an end time in the evening after which no more homework will be attempted. Kids need time to decompress and they need sleep—and pushing homework too close to or past bedtime doesn’t serve their educational needs. Even if your child hasn’t been able to approach the homework at all, even if they have avoided and argued the whole evening, it is still important for everyone to have a predictable time to shut down the whole process.
  • If there are arguments almost every night about homework, if your child isn’t starting homework or finishing it, reframe it from failure into information. It’s data to put into problem-solving. We need to consider other possible explanations besides “behavioral choice” when trying to understand the problem and create effective solutions. What problems are getting in the way of our child’s meeting homework demands that their peers are meeting most of the time?
  • Try not to argue about homework. If you can check your own anxiety and frustration, it can be more productive to ally with your child and be curious with them. Kids usually can’t tell you a clear “why” but maybe they can tell you how they are feeling and what they are thinking. And if your child can’t talk about it or just keeps saying “I don't know,” try not to push. Come back another time. Rushing, forcing, yelling, and threatening will predictably not help kids do homework.

Lapina/Shutterstock

Helping at School

The second area to explore when your neurodiverse child struggles frequently with homework is building communication and connections with school and teachers. Some places to focus on include the following.

  • Label your child’s diagnoses and break down specific symptoms for the teachers and school team. Nonjudgmental, but specific language is essential for teachers to understand your child’s struggles. Breaking their challenges down into the problems specific to homework can help with building solutions. As your child gets older, help them identify their difficulties and communicate them to teachers.
  • Let teachers and the school team know that your child’s mental health needs—including sleep—take priority over finishing homework. If your child is always struggling to complete homework and get enough sleep, or if completing homework is leading to emotional meltdowns every night, adjusting their homework demands will be more successful than continuing to push them into sleep deprivation or meltdowns.
  • Request a child study team evaluation to determine if your child qualifies for services under special education law such as an IEP, or accommodations through section 504—and be sure that homework adjustments are included in any plan. Or if such a plan is already in place, be clear that modification of homework expectations needs to be part of it.

The Long-Term Story

I still work with Chelsea and she recently mentioned how those conversations so many years ago are still part of how she approaches work tasks or other demands that are spiking her anxiety when she finds herself in a vortex of distress. She stops what she is doing and prioritizes reducing her anxiety—whether it’s a break during her day or an ending to the task for the evening. She sees that this is crucial to managing her anxiety in her life and still succeeding at what she is doing.

Task completion at all costs is not a solution for kids with emotional needs. Her story (and the story of many of my patients) make this crystal clear.

Candida Fink M.D.

Candida Fink, M.D. , is board certified in child/adolescent and general psychiatry. She practices in New York and has co-authored two books— The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.

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Is homework a necessary evil?

After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons. One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter.

By Kirsten Weir

March 2016, Vol 47, No. 3

Print version: page 36

After decades of debate, researchers are still sorting out the truth about homework’s pros and cons. One point they can agree on: Quality assignments matter.

  • Schools and Classrooms

Homework battles have raged for decades. For as long as kids have been whining about doing their homework, parents and education reformers have complained that homework's benefits are dubious. Meanwhile many teachers argue that take-home lessons are key to helping students learn. Now, as schools are shifting to the new (and hotly debated) Common Core curriculum standards, educators, administrators and researchers are turning a fresh eye toward the question of homework's value.

But when it comes to deciphering the research literature on the subject, homework is anything but an open book.

The 10-minute rule

In many ways, homework seems like common sense. Spend more time practicing multiplication or studying Spanish vocabulary and you should get better at math or Spanish. But it may not be that simple.

Homework can indeed produce academic benefits, such as increased understanding and retention of the material, says Duke University social psychologist Harris Cooper, PhD, one of the nation's leading homework researchers. But not all students benefit. In a review of studies published from 1987 to 2003, Cooper and his colleagues found that homework was linked to better test scores in high school and, to a lesser degree, in middle school. Yet they found only faint evidence that homework provided academic benefit in elementary school ( Review of Educational Research , 2006).

Then again, test scores aren't everything. Homework proponents also cite the nonacademic advantages it might confer, such as the development of personal responsibility, good study habits and time-management skills. But as to hard evidence of those benefits, "the jury is still out," says Mollie Galloway, PhD, associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. "I think there's a focus on assigning homework because [teachers] think it has these positive outcomes for study skills and habits. But we don't know for sure that's the case."

Even when homework is helpful, there can be too much of a good thing. "There is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study," Cooper says. He agrees with an oft-cited rule of thumb that students should do no more than 10 minutes a night per grade level — from about 10 minutes in first grade up to a maximum of about two hours in high school. Both the National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association support that limit.

Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

In a recent study of Spanish students, Rubén Fernández-Alonso, PhD, and colleagues found that students who were regularly assigned math and science homework scored higher on standardized tests. But when kids reported having more than 90 to 100 minutes of homework per day, scores declined ( Journal of Educational Psychology , 2015).

"At all grade levels, doing other things after school can have positive effects," Cooper says. "To the extent that homework denies access to other leisure and community activities, it's not serving the child's best interest."

Children of all ages need down time in order to thrive, says Denise Pope, PhD, a professor of education at Stanford University and a co-founder of Challenge Success, a program that partners with secondary schools to implement policies that improve students' academic engagement and well-being.

"Little kids and big kids need unstructured time for play each day," she says. Certainly, time for physical activity is important for kids' health and well-being. But even time spent on social media can help give busy kids' brains a break, she says.

All over the map

But are teachers sticking to the 10-minute rule? Studies attempting to quantify time spent on homework are all over the map, in part because of wide variations in methodology, Pope says.

A 2014 report by the Brookings Institution examined the question of homework, comparing data from a variety of sources. That report cited findings from a 2012 survey of first-year college students in which 38.4 percent reported spending six hours or more per week on homework during their last year of high school. That was down from 49.5 percent in 1986 ( The Brown Center Report on American Education , 2014).

The Brookings report also explored survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which asked 9-, 13- and 17-year-old students how much homework they'd done the previous night. They found that between 1984 and 2012, there was a slight increase in homework for 9-year-olds, but homework amounts for 13- and 17-year-olds stayed roughly the same, or even decreased slightly.

Yet other evidence suggests that some kids might be taking home much more work than they can handle. Robert Pressman, PhD, and colleagues recently investigated the 10-minute rule among more than 1,100 students, and found that elementary-school kids were receiving up to three times as much homework as recommended. As homework load increased, so did family stress, the researchers found ( American Journal of Family Therapy , 2015).

Many high school students also seem to be exceeding the recommended amounts of homework. Pope and Galloway recently surveyed more than 4,300 students from 10 high-achieving high schools. Students reported bringing home an average of just over three hours of homework nightly ( Journal of Experiential Education , 2013).

On the positive side, students who spent more time on homework in that study did report being more behaviorally engaged in school — for instance, giving more effort and paying more attention in class, Galloway says. But they were not more invested in the homework itself. They also reported greater academic stress and less time to balance family, friends and extracurricular activities. They experienced more physical health problems as well, such as headaches, stomach troubles and sleep deprivation. "Three hours per night is too much," Galloway says.

In the high-achieving schools Pope and Galloway studied, more than 90 percent of the students go on to college. There's often intense pressure to succeed academically, from both parents and peers. On top of that, kids in these communities are often overloaded with extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs. "They're very busy," Pope says. "Some kids have up to 40 hours a week — a full-time job's worth — of extracurricular activities." And homework is yet one more commitment on top of all the others.

"Homework has perennially acted as a source of stress for students, so that piece of it is not new," Galloway says. "But especially in upper-middle-class communities, where the focus is on getting ahead, I think the pressure on students has been ratcheted up."

Yet homework can be a problem at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum as well. Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, Internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs, says Lea Theodore, PhD, a professor of school psychology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. They are less likely to have computers or a quiet place to do homework in peace.

"Homework can highlight those inequities," she says.

Quantity vs. quality

One point researchers agree on is that for all students, homework quality matters. But too many kids are feeling a lack of engagement with their take-home assignments, many experts say. In Pope and Galloway's research, only 20 percent to 30 percent of students said they felt their homework was useful or meaningful.

"Students are assigned a lot of busywork. They're naming it as a primary stressor, but they don't feel it's supporting their learning," Galloway says.

"Homework that's busywork is not good for anyone," Cooper agrees. Still, he says, different subjects call for different kinds of assignments. "Things like vocabulary and spelling are learned through practice. Other kinds of courses require more integration of material and drawing on different skills."

But critics say those skills can be developed with many fewer hours of homework each week. Why assign 50 math problems, Pope asks, when 10 would be just as constructive? One Advanced Placement biology teacher she worked with through Challenge Success experimented with cutting his homework assignments by a third, and then by half. "Test scores didn't go down," she says. "You can have a rigorous course and not have a crazy homework load."

Still, changing the culture of homework won't be easy. Teachers-to-be get little instruction in homework during their training, Pope says. And despite some vocal parents arguing that kids bring home too much homework, many others get nervous if they think their child doesn't have enough. "Teachers feel pressured to give homework because parents expect it to come home," says Galloway. "When it doesn't, there's this idea that the school might not be doing its job."

Galloway argues teachers and school administrators need to set clear goals when it comes to homework — and parents and students should be in on the discussion, too. "It should be a broader conversation within the community, asking what's the purpose of homework? Why are we giving it? Who is it serving? Who is it not serving?"

Until schools and communities agree to take a hard look at those questions, those backpacks full of take-home assignments will probably keep stirring up more feelings than facts.

Further reading

  • Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987-2003. Review of Educational Research, 76 (1), 1–62. doi: 10.3102/00346543076001001
  • Galloway, M., Connor, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Nonacademic effects of homework in privileged, high-performing high schools. The Journal of Experimental Education, 81 (4), 490–510. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2012.745469
  • Pope, D., Brown, M., & Miles, S. (2015). Overloaded and underprepared: Strategies for stronger schools and healthy, successful kids . San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Homework could have an impact on kids’ health. Should schools ban it?

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Professor of Education, Penn State

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Gerald K. LeTendre has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.

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health issues caused by homework

Reformers in the Progressive Era (from the 1890s to 1920s) depicted homework as a “sin” that deprived children of their playtime . Many critics voice similar concerns today.

Yet there are many parents who feel that from early on, children need to do homework if they are to succeed in an increasingly competitive academic culture. School administrators and policy makers have also weighed in, proposing various policies on homework .

So, does homework help or hinder kids?

For the last 10 years, my colleagues and I have been investigating international patterns in homework using databases like the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) . If we step back from the heated debates about homework and look at how homework is used around the world, we find the highest homework loads are associated with countries that have lower incomes and higher social inequality.

Does homework result in academic success?

Let’s first look at the global trends on homework.

Undoubtedly, homework is a global phenomenon ; students from all 59 countries that participated in the 2007 Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS) reported getting homework. Worldwide, only less than 7% of fourth graders said they did no homework.

TIMSS is one of the few data sets that allow us to compare many nations on how much homework is given (and done). And the data show extreme variation.

For example, in some nations, like Algeria, Kuwait and Morocco, more than one in five fourth graders reported high levels of homework. In Japan, less than 3% of students indicated they did more than four hours of homework on a normal school night.

TIMSS data can also help to dispel some common stereotypes. For instance, in East Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan – countries that had the top rankings on TIMSS average math achievement – reported rates of heavy homework that were below the international mean.

In the Netherlands, nearly one out of five fourth graders reported doing no homework on an average school night, even though Dutch fourth graders put their country in the top 10 in terms of average math scores in 2007.

Going by TIMSS data, the US is neither “ A Nation at Rest” as some have claimed, nor a nation straining under excessive homework load . Fourth and eighth grade US students fall in the middle of the 59 countries in the TIMSS data set, although only 12% of US fourth graders reported high math homework loads compared to an international average of 21%.

So, is homework related to high academic success?

At a national level, the answer is clearly no. Worldwide, homework is not associated with high national levels of academic achievement .

But, the TIMSS can’t be used to determine if homework is actually helping or hurting academic performance overall , it can help us see how much homework students are doing, and what conditions are associated with higher national levels of homework.

We have typically found that the highest homework loads are associated with countries that have lower incomes and higher levels of social inequality – not hallmarks that most countries would want to emulate.

Impact of homework on kids

TIMSS data also show us how even elementary school kids are being burdened with large amounts of homework.

Almost 10% of fourth graders worldwide (one in 10 children) reported spending multiple hours on homework each night. Globally, one in five fourth graders report 30 minutes or more of homework in math three to four times a week.

These reports of large homework loads should worry parents, teachers and policymakers alike.

Empirical studies have linked excessive homework to sleep disruption , indicating a negative relationship between the amount of homework, perceived stress and physical health.

health issues caused by homework

What constitutes excessive amounts of homework varies by age, and may also be affected by cultural or family expectations. Young adolescents in middle school, or teenagers in high school, can study for longer duration than elementary school children.

But for elementary school students, even 30 minutes of homework a night, if combined with other sources of academic stress, can have a negative impact . Researchers in China have linked homework of two or more hours per night with sleep disruption .

Even though some cultures may normalize long periods of studying for elementary age children, there is no evidence to support that this level of homework has clear academic benefits . Also, when parents and children conflict over homework, and strong negative emotions are created, homework can actually have a negative association with academic achievement.

Should there be “no homework” policies?

Administrators and policymakers have not been reluctant to wade into the debates on homework and to formulate policies . France’s president, Francois Hollande, even proposed that homework be banned because it may have inegaliatarian effects.

However, “zero-tolerance” homework policies for schools, or nations, are likely to create as many problems as they solve because of the wide variation of homework effects. Contrary to what Hollande said, research suggests that homework is not a likely source of social class differences in academic achievement .

Homework, in fact, is an important component of education for students in the middle and upper grades of schooling.

Policymakers and researchers should look more closely at the connection between poverty, inequality and higher levels of homework. Rather than seeing homework as a “solution,” policymakers should question what facets of their educational system might impel students, teachers and parents to increase homework loads.

At the classroom level, in setting homework, teachers need to communicate with their peers and with parents to assure that the homework assigned overall for a grade is not burdensome, and that it is indeed having a positive effect.

Perhaps, teachers can opt for a more individualized approach to homework. If teachers are careful in selecting their assignments – weighing the student’s age, family situation and need for skill development – then homework can be tailored in ways that improve the chance of maximum positive impact for any given student.

I strongly suspect that when teachers face conditions such as pressure to meet arbitrary achievement goals, lack of planning time or little autonomy over curriculum, homework becomes an easy option to make up what could not be covered in class.

Whatever the reason, the fact is a significant percentage of elementary school children around the world are struggling with large homework loads. That alone could have long-term negative consequences for their academic success.

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Homework as a Mental Health Concern It's time for an in depth discussion about homework as a major concern for those pursuing mental health in schools. So many problems between kids and their families, the home and school, and students and teachers arise from conflicts over homework. The topic is a long standing concern for mental health practitioners, especially those who work in schools. Over the years, we have tried to emphasize the idea that schools need to ensure that homework is designed as "motivated practice," and parents need to avoid turning homework into a battleground. These views are embedded in many of the Center documents. At this time, we hope you will join in a discussion of what problems you see arising related to homework and what you recommend as ways to deal with such problems, what positive homework practices you know about, and so forth. Read the material that follows, and then, let us hear from you on this topic. Contact: [email protected] ######################### As one stimulus, here's a piece by Sharon Cromwell from Education World prepared for teachers " The Homework Dilemma: How Much Should Parents Get Involved? " http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr053.shtml . What can teachers do to help parents help their children with homework? Just what kind of parental involvement -- and how much involvement -- truly helps children with their homework? The most useful stance parents can take, many experts agree, is to be somewhat but not overly involved in homework. The emphasis needs to be on parents' helping children do their homework themselves -- not on doing it for them. In an Instructor magazine article, How to Make Parents Your Homework Partner s, study-skills consultant Judy Dodge maintains that involving students in homework is largely the teacher's job, yet parents can help by "creating a home environment that's conducive to kids getting their homework done." Children who spend more time on homework, on average, do better academically than children who don't, and the academic benefits of homework increase in the upper grades, according to Helping Your Child With Homework , a handbook by the Office of Education Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. The handbook offers ideas for helping children finish homework assignments successfully and answers questions that parents and people who care for elementary and junior high school students often ask about homework. One of the Goals 2000 goals involves the parent/school relationship. The goal reads, "Every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children." Teachers can pursue the goal, in part, by communicating to parents their reasons for assigning homework. For example, the handbook states, homework can help children to review and practice what they have learned; prepare for the next day's class; use resources, such as libraries and reference materials; investigate topics more fully than time allows in the classroom. Parents can help children excel at homework by setting a regular time; choosing a place; removing distractions; having supplies and resources on hand; monitoring assignments; and providing guidance. The handbook cautions against actually doing the homework for a child, but talking about the assignment so the child can figure out what needs to be done is OK. And reviewing a completed assignment with a child can also be helpful. The kind of help that works best depends, of course, partly on the child's age. Elementary school students who are doing homework for the first time may need more direct involvement than older students. HOMEWORK "TIPS" Specific methods have been developed for encouraging the optimal parental involvement in homework. TIPS (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork) Interactive Homework process was designed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and teachers in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to meet parents' and teachers' needs, says the Phi Delta Kappa Research Bulletin . The September 1997 bulletin reported the effects of TIPS-Language Arts on middle-grade students' writing skills, language arts report card grades, and attitudes toward TIPS as well as parents' reactions to interactive homework. TIPS interactive homework assignments involve students in demonstrating or discussing homework with a family member. Parents are asked to monitor, interact, and support their children. They are not required to read or direct the students' assignments because that is the students' responsibility. All TIPS homework has a section for home-to-school communication where parents indicate their interaction with the student about the homework. The goals of the TIPS process are for parents to gain knowledge about their children's school work, students to gain mastery in academic subjects by enhancing school lessons at home, and teachers to have an understanding of the parental contribution to student learning. "TIPS" RESULTS Nearly all parents involved in the TIPS program said TIPS provided them with information about what their children were studying in school. About 90 percent of the parents wanted the school to continue TIPS the following year. More than 80 percent of the families liked the TIPS process (44 percent a lot; 36% a little). TIPS activities were better than regular homework, according to 60 percent of the students who participated. About 70 percent wanted the school to use TIPS the next year. According to Phi Delta Kappa Research Bulletin , more family involvement helped students' writing skills increase, even when prior writing skills were taken into account. And completing more TIPS assignments improved students' language arts grades on report cards, even after prior report card grades and attendance were taken into account. Of the eight teachers involved, six liked the TIPS process and intended to go on using it without help or supplies from the researchers. Furthermore, seven of the eight teachers said TIPS "helps families see what their children are learning in class." OTHER TIPS In "How to Make Parents Your Homework Partners," Judy Dodge suggests that teachers begin giving parent workshops to provide practical tips for "winning the homework battle." At the workshop, teachers should focus on three key study skills: Organizational skills -- Help put students in control of work and to feel sure that they can master what they need to learn and do. Parents can, for example, help students find a "steady study spot" with the materials they need at hand. Time-management skills -- Enable students to complete work without feeling too much pressure and to have free time. By working with students to set a definite study time, for example, parents can help with time management. Active study strategies -- Help students to achieve better outcomes from studying. Parents suggest, for instance, that students write questions they think will be on a test and then recite their answers out loud. Related Resources Homework Without Tears by Lee Canter and Lee Hauser (Perennial Library, 1987). A down-to-earth book by well-known experts suggests how to deal with specific homework problems. Megaskills: How Families Can Help Children Succeed in School and Beyond by Dorothy Rich (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992). Families can help children develop skills that nurture success in and out of school. "Helping Your Student Get the Most Out of Homework" by the National PTA and the National Education Association (1995). This booklet for teachers to use with students is sold in packages of 25 through the National PTA. The Catalog item is #B307. Call 312-549-3253 or write National PTA Orders, 135 South LaSalle Street, Dept. 1860, Chicago, IL 60674-1860. Related Sites A cornucopia of homework help is available for children who use a computer or whose parents are willing to help them get started online. The following LINKS include Internet sites that can be used for reference, research, and overall resources for both homework and schoolwork. Dr. Internet. The Dr. Internet Web site, part of the Internet Public Library, helps students with science and math homework or projects. It includes a science project resource guide Help With Homework. His extensive listing of Internet links is divided into Language Art Links, Science Links, Social Studies Links, Homework Help, Kids Education, and Universities. If students know what they are looking for, the site could be invaluable. Kidz-Net... Links to places where you can get help with homework. An array of homework help links is offered here, from Ask Dr. Math (which provides answers to math questions) to Roget's Thesaurus and the White House. Surfing the Net With Kids: Got Questions? Links to people -- such as teachers, librarians, experts, authors, and other students -- who will help students with questions about homework. Barbara J. Feldman put together the links. Kidsurfer: For Kids and Teens The site, from the National Children's Coalition, includes a Homework/Reference section for many subjects, including science, geography, music, history, and language arts. Homework: Parents' Work, Kid's Work, or School Work? A quick search of this title in the Education Week Archives and you'll find an article presenting a parent's viewpoint on helping children with homework. @#@#@#@@# As another stimulus for the discussion, here is an excerpt from our online continuing education module Enhancing Classroom Approaches for Addressing Barriers to Learning ( https://smhp.psych.ucla.edu ) Turning Homework into Motivated Practice Most of us have had the experience of wanting to be good at something such as playing a musical instrument or participating in a sport. What we found out was that becoming good at it meant a great deal of practice, and the practicing often was not very much fun. In the face of this fact, many of us turned to other pursuits. In some cases, individuals were compelled by their parents to labor on, and many of these sufferers grew to dislike the activity. (A few, of course, commend their parents for pushing them, but be assured these are a small minority. Ask your friends who were compelled to practice the piano.) Becoming good at reading, mathematics, writing, and other academic pursuits requires practice outside the classroom. This, of course, is called homework. Properly designed, homework can benefit students. Inappropriately designed homework, however, can lead to avoidance, parent-child conflicts, teacher reproval, and student dislike of various arenas of learning. Well-designed homework involves assignments that emphasize motivated practice. As with all learning processes that engage students, motivated practice requires designing activities that the student perceives as worthwhile and doable with an appropriate amount of effort. In effect, the intent is to personalize in-class practice and homework. This does not mean every student has a different practice activity. Teachers quickly learn what their students find engaging and can provide three or four practice options that will be effective for most students in a class. The idea of motivated practice is not without its critics. I don't doubt that students would prefer an approach to homework that emphasized motivated practice. But �� that's not preparing them properly for the real world. People need to work even when it isn't fun, and most of the time work isn't fun. Also, if a person wants to be good at something, they need to practice it day in and day out, and that's not fun! In the end, won't all this emphasis on motivation spoil people so that they won't want to work unless it's personally relevant and interesting? We believe that a great deal of learning and practice activities can be enjoyable. But even if they are not, they can be motivating if they are viewed as worthwhile and experienced as satisfying. At the same time, we do recognize that there are many things people have to do in their lives that will not be viewed and experienced in a positive way. How we all learn to put up with such circumstances is an interesting question, but one for which psychologists have yet to find a satisfactory answer. It is doubtful, however, that people have to experience the learning and practice of basic knowledge and skills as drudgery in order to learn to tolerate boring situations. Also in response to critics of motivated practice, there is the reality that many students do not master what they have been learning because they do not pursue the necessary practice activities. Thus, at least for such individuals, it seems essential to facilitate motivated practice. Minimally, facilitating motivated practice requires establishing a variety of task options that are potentially challenging -- neither too easy nor too hard. However, as we have stressed, the processes by which tasks are chosen must lead to perceptions on the part of the learner that practice activities, task outcomes, or both are worthwhile -- especially as potential sources of personal satisfaction. The examples in the following exhibit illustrate ways in which activities can be varied to provide for motivated learning and practice. Because most people have experienced a variety of reading and writing activities, the focus here is on other types of activity. Students can be encouraged to pursue such activity with classsmates and/or family members. Friends with common interests can provide positive models and support that can enhance productivity and even creativity. Research on motivation indicates that one of the most powerful factors keeping a person on a task is the expectation of feeling some sense of satisfaction when the task is completed. For example, task persistence results from the expectation that one will feel smart or competent while performing the task or at least will feel that way after the skill is mastered. Within some limits, the stronger the sense of potential outcome satisfaction, the more likely practice will be pursued even when the practice activities are rather dull. The weaker the sense of potential outcome satisfaction, the more the practice activities themselves need to be positively motivating. Exhibit � Homework and Motivated Practice Learning and practicing by (1) doing using movement and manipulation of objects to explore a topic (e.g., using coins to learn to add and subtract) dramatization of events (e.g., historical, current) role playing and simulations (e.g., learning about democratic vs. autocratic government by trying different models in class; learning about contemporary life and finances by living on a budget) actual interactions (e.g., learning about human psychology through analysis of daily behavior) applied activities (e.g., school newspapers, film and video productions, band, sports) actual work experience (e.g., on-the-job learning) (2) listening reading to students (e.g., to enhance their valuing of literature) audio media (e.g., tapes, records, and radio presentations of music, stories, events) listening games and activities (e.g., Simon Says; imitating rhymes, rhythms, and animal sounds) analyzing actual oral material (e.g., learning to detect details and ideas in advertisements or propaganda presented on radio or television, learning to identify feelings and motives underlying statements of others) (3) looking directly observing experts, role models, and demonstrations visual media visual games and activities (e.g., puzzles, reproducing designs, map activities) analyzing actual visual material (e.g., learning to find and identify ideas observed in daily events) (4) asking information gathering (e.g., investigative reporting, interviewing, and opinion sampling at school and in the community) brainstorming answers to current problems and puzzling questions inquiry learning (e.g., learning social studies and science by identifying puzzling questions, formulating hypotheses, gathering and interpreting information, generalizing answers, and raising new questions) question-and-answer games and activities (e.g., twenty questions, provocative and confrontational questions) questioning everyday events (e.g., learning about a topic by asking people about how it effects their lives) O.K. That's should be enough to get you going. What's your take on all this? What do you think we all should be telling teachers and parents about homework? Let us hear from you ( [email protected] ). Back to Hot Topic Home Page Hot Topic Home Page --> Table of Contents Home Page Search Send Us Email School Mental Health Project-UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools WebMaster: Perry Nelson ([email protected])

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  • Excessive homework negatively impacts mental health, causes unnecessary stress

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Caroline Lou

Opinion Editor Jula Utzschneider writes on the overwhelming chip on every student’s shoulder: homework.

Jula Utzschneider , Opinion Editor November 10, 2021

When the bell rings to end last period every day, I feel a sense of relief. However, this feeling soon wears off as I realize just how much work I have to do after the already-stressful school day ends.

While homework can be beneficial, more often than not, it is assigned excessively and unnecessarily. Teachers give a significant amount of homework, often due the next day. This causes students to spend far too much time doing such assignments and can be detrimental.

A 2013 study conducted at Stanford University found that students in top-performing school districts who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives and alienation from society. That study, published in The Journal of Experimental Education , suggested that any more than two hours of homework per night is counterproductive. However, students who participated in the study reported doing slightly more than three hours of homework every night.

And, yes, the amount of homework given to students depends on the course level they take. But, with increasingly competitive college acceptance rates (demanding more extracurriculars and college-level classes), many students feel forced to take these more challenging courses. This is a huge problem, especially as teachers give homework only thinking about their own class, not the five or six others students have.

Additionally, when it came to stress, more than 70% of students in the Stanford study said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56% listing homework as a primary stressor. More than 80% of students reported having at least one stress-related symptom (such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, stomach problems and more) in the past month, and 44% said they had experienced three or more symptoms. 

Less than 1% of the students said homework was not a stressor, demonstrating that the vast majority feel overwhelmed and pressured by the amount of work they receive.

Not to mention, the time spent on these assignments could easily be spent doing something enjoyable. Many students feel forced or obligated to choose homework over practicing other talents or skills, which should never be the case. Teachers should be encouraging these extracurriculars, rather than making it impossible for students to partake in them.

In terms of what teachers can do, it’s quite simple, really. Homework is intended for students to either practice a subject further or to cover topics teachers couldn’t during the allotted class time. It should not be busywork that just wastes a student’s time. 

Teachers should be giving students work that is absolutely necessary (not busy work), and eliminate it altogether where they can. It is extremely important that students not only get through high school but thrive and enjoy it too.

How much time do you spend doing homework on an average school night?

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very true in fact i am writing a essay right now this is resurch

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When Is Homework Stressful? Its Effects on Students’ Mental Health

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Are you wondering when is homework stressful? Well, homework is a vital constituent in keeping students attentive to the course covered in a class. By applying the lessons, students learned in class, they can gain a mastery of the material by reflecting on it in greater detail and applying what they learned through homework. 

However, students get advantages from homework, as it improves soft skills like organisation and time management which are important after high school. However, the additional work usually causes anxiety for both the parents and the child. As their load of homework accumulates, some students may find themselves growing more and more bored.

Students may take assistance online and ask someone to do my online homework . As there are many platforms available for the students such as Chegg, Scholarly Help, and Quizlet offering academic services that can assist students in completing their homework on time. 

Negative impact of homework

There are the following reasons why is homework stressful and leads to depression for students and affect their mental health. As they work hard on their assignments for alarmingly long periods, students’ mental health is repeatedly put at risk. Here are some serious arguments against too much homework.

No uniqueness

Homework should be intended to encourage children to express themselves more creatively. Teachers must assign kids intriguing assignments that highlight their uniqueness. similar to writing an essay on a topic they enjoy.

Moreover, the key is encouraging the child instead of criticizing him for writing a poor essay so that he can express himself more creatively.

Lack of sleep

One of the most prevalent adverse effects of schoolwork is lack of sleep. The average student only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night since they stay up late to complete their homework, even though the body needs at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep has an impact on both mental and physical health.

No pleasure

Students learn more effectively while they are having fun. They typically learn things more quickly when their minds are not clouded by fear. However, the fear factor that most teachers introduce into homework causes kids to turn to unethical means of completing their assignments.

Excessive homework

The lack of coordination between teachers in the existing educational system is a concern. As a result, teachers frequently end up assigning children far more work than they can handle. In such circumstances, children turn to cheat on their schoolwork by either copying their friends’ work or using online resources that assist with homework.

Anxiety level

Homework stress can increase anxiety levels and that could hurt the blood pressure norms in young people . Do you know? Around 3.5% of young people in the USA have high blood pressure. So why is homework stressful for children when homework is meant to be enjoyable and something they look forward to doing? It is simple to reject this claim by asserting that schoolwork is never enjoyable, yet with some careful consideration and preparation, homework may become pleasurable.

No time for personal matters

Students that have an excessive amount of homework miss out on personal time. They can’t get enough enjoyment. There is little time left over for hobbies, interpersonal interaction with colleagues, and other activities. 

However, many students dislike doing their assignments since they don’t have enough time. As they grow to detest it, they can stop learning. In any case, it has a significant negative impact on their mental health.

Children are no different than everyone else in need of a break. Weekends with no homework should be considered by schools so that kids have time to unwind and prepare for the coming week. Without a break, doing homework all week long might be stressful.

How do parents help kids with homework?

Encouraging children’s well-being and health begins with parents being involved in their children’s lives. By taking part in their homework routine, you can see any issues your child may be having and offer them the necessary support.

Set up a routine

Your student will develop and maintain good study habits if you have a clear and organized homework regimen. If there is still a lot of schoolwork to finish, try putting a time limit. Students must obtain regular, good sleep every single night.

Observe carefully

The student is ultimately responsible for their homework. Because of this, parents should only focus on ensuring that their children are on track with their assignments and leave it to the teacher to determine what skills the students have and have not learned in class.

Listen to your child

One of the nicest things a parent can do for their kids is to ask open-ended questions and listen to their responses. Many kids are reluctant to acknowledge they are struggling with their homework because they fear being labelled as failures or lazy if they do.

However, every parent wants their child to succeed to the best of their ability, but it’s crucial to be prepared to ease the pressure if your child starts to show signs of being overburdened with homework.

Talk to your teachers

Also, make sure to contact the teacher with any problems regarding your homework by phone or email. Additionally, it demonstrates to your student that you and their teacher are working together to further their education.

Homework with friends

If you are still thinking is homework stressful then It’s better to do homework with buddies because it gives them these advantages. Their stress is reduced by collaborating, interacting, and sharing with peers.

Additionally, students are more relaxed when they work on homework with pals. It makes even having too much homework manageable by ensuring they receive the support they require when working on the assignment. Additionally, it improves their communication abilities.

However, doing homework with friends guarantees that one learns how to communicate well and express themselves. 

Review homework plan

Create a schedule for finishing schoolwork on time with your child. Every few weeks, review the strategy and make any necessary adjustments. Gratefully, more schools are making an effort to control the quantity of homework assigned to children to lessen the stress this produces.

Bottom line

Finally, be aware that homework-related stress is fairly prevalent and is likely to occasionally affect you or your student. Sometimes all you or your kid needs to calm down and get back on track is a brief moment of comfort. So if you are a student and wondering if is homework stressful then you must go through this blog.

While homework is a crucial component of a student’s education, when kids are overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to perform, the advantages of homework can be lost and grades can suffer. Finding a balance that ensures students understand the material covered in class without becoming overburdened is therefore essential.

Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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August 22, 2022

Children’s Risk of Suicide Increases on School Days

Unlike in adults, suicide risk among children is lowest during the summer and higher during the school year. Understanding these patterns can help prevent and treat suicidality

By Tyler Black

Cropped image of a heat map shows data by month and day, with higher values associated with weekdays and full school months.

Amanda Montañez

Reading about death and suicidality can be distressing. Please read this in a moment where you feel safest and ready to do so.

Pediatricians, child psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers and pediatric emergency teams know something that many people who care for children don’t: we are much busier during the school year. I’m a full-time emergency psychiatrist who works at a major children’s hospital, and often when children come in for a mental health crisis, one of the main stressors they discuss is school.

I’m sure most people assume I commonly prescribe medications as a physician, but one of my most common “prescriptions” is advocating for reducing school burden and load. In a 2013 American Psychological Association survey, 83 percent of adolescents stated that school was a cause or significant source of stress . In a 2017 survey of school leaders in the U.K., 82 percent reported increased mental health issues among primary school children during the time of national examinations. In studies in 2013 and 2015, scientists studying homework in the U.S. found that primary school children were averaging 30 minutes of such work per night, while high-performing secondary students were averaging more than three hours per night, at the cost of their physical health and schoolwork-life balance.

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Whether we are talking about referrals to mental health programs for crisis, presentations to emergency departments for mental health issues, admissions to intensive care units for urgent treatment of suicide attempts or deaths by suicide, an association with school is clear. We are able to visualize this in a number of ways.

By using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wonder database to find information on pediatric (17 years of age or younger) deaths by suicide, I have created a “heat map” of youth suicide, and a school-day association is plain to see. On weekdays and during school months, there is a significant elevation of suicide deaths in children.

health issues caused by homework

Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: CDC Wonder , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Data analysis by Tyler Black

Looking at the monthly data, we can see that this elevation is not trivial: during school months, the increase in pediatric suicides ranges between 30 and 43 percent. This is in sharp contrast with adults, where we see suicide rates typically peak in summer months. 

health issues caused by homework

This situation has not improved over time: Compared with summer weekends, school-month weekdays from 2016 to 2019 show a pediatric suicide rate increase of 62 percent. The increase was 42% from 1999 to 2015.

If we look at far more common events, such as emergency room visits for mental health conditions, we see a strikingly similar pattern. These data come from participating hospitals in a collection done by the CDC.

health issues caused by homework

Credit: Amanda Montañez; National Syndromic Surveillance Program via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

School comes with many things, good and bad. School can be wonderful, with learning experiences, social successes and a sense of connection to others. But it can also be incredibly stressful because of academic burden, bullying, health- and disability-related barriers, discrimination, lack of sleep and sometimes abuse. I often liken going to school to a child’s full-time job. The child has co-workers (classmates arranged by hierarchy), supervisors (teachers), bosses (administrators and principals) and overtime (homework). And they have very early work hours (most schools have hours that are very incompatible with children’s sleep patterns). Of course, work can be rewarding, but it’s also stressful.

Any time I present these data to teachers, parents, principals or school administrators, they are shocked. This should be common knowledge. Pediatric suicides and mental health crisis rates increase sharply when school is in and ease when school is out. This pattern is also found in other jurisdictions, such as Japan , Germany and Finland .

There are a number of ways to potentially mitigate this distress that I wish those responsible for our children’s education would explore. Some suggestions I’d put forth:

Reduce homework (preferably get rid of it). Some of the best educational science available shows that excessive homework is of limited benefit and in fact harms children’s health and well-being.

Add a mental health curriculum. We have developed incredible educational goals for math, reading, science and the arts. There should be a dedicated pathway for a much more universal and necessary learning: how to take care of yourself; how to look out for and help others; and how to improve both the detection and prevention of mental health crises.

Take bullying seriously and don’t just focus on the bullies. The bullied and bullies often come from similar backgrounds (histories of abuse, trauma, chaos, deprivation, parental detachment, though this certainly isn’t universally the case). But whereas the bullied tend to be internalizers, the bullies are more often externalizers. Bullies who were once victims of bullying have the highest risk of having psychiatric problems in the future.

Restore funding for playtime, music and art in school and de-emphasize academic overload. Children need relaxation, comfort, beauty, fun and play. Children who have opportunities to play and rest will learn more in their academics, and they will be able to sustain their development as they grow.

End “perfect attendance” awards and goals. While problematic truancy should be addressed, there is no less realistic notion for the rest of one’s life than the idea of “perfect attendance.” We should all, from time to time, recognize when we are at our limit and need a break. Children should be encouraged to report when they can do so and be supported.

Start school later. How many more decades of research do we need to show that children need more sleep and that adolescents do better in school when the day starts later? It’s time to make serious structural changes to the early-morning wake-up times.

Be nonjudgmental and respect children’s identity and identity formation. This is not a “woke” concept. This is a caring, compassionate concept that works for all children all the time.

Recognize and address child abuse within schools. There exist (and many readers may likely recall) teachers who are abusive, punitive and cruel. In one 2015 study, 44 percent of undergraduates recalled a time in K–12 school that they labeled as emotional abuse by a teacher . And in another study published in 2019, 3.4 percent of seventh- and eighth-grade students reported teachers bullied them .

Every year my colleagues in the emergency department brace for the coming mid-September wave, as every year our mental health crisis presentation volumes double and our days become much busier. Likely not coincidentally, in my jurisdiction, school starts in the second week of September.

In the new school year, if you are someone who works with school-age children, ask yourself what you could be doing to reduce pressure or improve quality of life for the children in your care. This would truly be suicide prevention.

IF YOU NEED HELP If you or someone you know is struggling or having thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Chat . LGBTQ+ Americans can reach out to the Trevor Project by texting START to 678-678 or calling 1-866-488-7386.

This is an opinion and analysis article, and the views expressed by the author or authors are not necessarily those of Scientific American .

health issues caused by homework

Homework can be bad for your mental health. Should we get rid of it?

  • Teachers are taking to social media apps like TikTok to take a stand against the idea
  • Heavy workloads can be extra stressful for students, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic

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health issues caused by homework

It’s no secret that homework can be a pain. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about their workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework.

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn’t assign it because the “whole premise of homework is flawed.”

Do students need homework to learn?

For starters, he says he can’t grade work on “even playing fields” when students’ home environments can be vastly different.

“Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that’s what a lot of homework is, it’s busy work,” he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. “You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18.”

Mental health experts agree heavy work loads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Chinese schoolgirl uses robot to do her homework

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be “detrimental” for students and cause a “big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health.”

“More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies,” she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression.

And for all the distress homework causes, it’s not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

“The research shows that there’s really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom,” he says.

For older students, Kang says homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night.

Should Hong Kong introduce a zero-homework policy?

“Most students, especially at these high-achieving schools, they’re doing a minimum of three hours, and it’s taking away time from their friends from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person’s mental and emotional health.”

Catchings, who taught Primary Three to Secondary 6 for 12 years, says she’s seen the positive effects of a no homework policy while working with students abroad.

“Not having homework was something that I always admired from French students (and) French schools, because that helped students really have time off and disconnect from school,” she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely, but to be more mindful of the type of work students go home with, suggests Kang, who was a secondary school teacher for 10 years.

“I don’t think (we) should scrap homework, I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless, busy work-type homework. That’s something that needs to be scrapped entirely,” she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

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Can Excessive Homework Cause Depression? – 17 Reasons

Does Homework Cause Depression

Does Homework Cause Depression?

You or a loved one may currently be struggling with excessive amounts of homework and are wondering if can homework cause depression. The short answer is that depression can absolutely lead to depression for a variety of reasons. Identifying the cause of your homework-related depression below is the first step toward bettering your mental health. Excessive homework, lack of social support, and perfectionism are just a few of the reasons homework can lead to depression.

Reasons Why Homework Might Cause Depression:

1) multiple hours of homework.

Starting in high school, or sometimes even middle school, students begin to slowly receive more and more hours of homework. There are various reasons why multiple hours of homework per week might lead students to depression, with stress and procrastination being at the top. Certain subjects, such as mathematics or science-related classes (i.e. chemistry) might also be challenging for some students to comprehend, leading them to feel drowned in stress and procrastination. Many hours of homework on a subject that one does not understand may start as stress and procrastination, but across multiple weeks or months may gradually turn into strong feelings of inadequacy and ultimately depression.

2) Extracurricular Activities May Interfere

Only some people in high school are distinguished academics capable of effortlessly finishing hours of homework each week. Other students are naturally gifted in different areas, such as athletics, arts (such as music or drawing), or even gaming! However, these activities can also get in the way of valuable time each student needs to complete homework and be successful in school. If the student prioritizes extracurricular activities significantly more than homework, this certainly can have negative mental health consequences. Ultimately, a school/leisure balance is key when it comes to avoiding student depression and maintaining overall happiness and success!

3) Excessive Homework From Classes or Teachers

Certain subjects or teachers might also be prone to assign excessive homework that might initially be daunting. For example, mathematics, chemistry, and physics are examples of classes that high school students find both challenging and overwhelming. If these classes are not already difficult enough, a bad professor might add excessive homework that is clearly not necessary for the student’s growth. The combination of excessive homework and poor teachers can easily lead students to mild depression over time.

4) Prior Struggles With Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues in the United States and across the world are higher now than at any point in much of human history. This means that many students already have mild to severe forms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues. When students receive homework that they feel incapable of completing with little to no support outside school, this may only worsen their mental health. Unfortunately, depression is only one of many mental health issues students may face when confronted with challenging homework.

5) The Sleep Deprivation Cycle

Many students, especially in high school and college, naturally prefer to stay up late and wake up late. These individuals are commonly referred to as “night owls” since they mostly thrive at night. Being a “night owl” is not an inherent problem until the student’s sleep begins to fall below the recommended range of 7-9 hours per night. Sleep deprivation is defined as “a state caused by inadequate quality or quantity of sleep.”

Although side effects of sleep deprivation depend on a few factors, depression is one of the most common. Students might feel stressed during the day and procrastinate until night when they make the logical decision to stay up and finally complete the homework for the following day. This is the day-to-day reality for many students since they have yet to break the sleep deprivation-depression cycle.

6) Concern With Getting Good Grades

Although getting good grades is applauded by almost everyone ranging from students and parents to teachers and principals, some students take it to the extreme. Perfectionism is the need to appear perfect, which might be reflected by extremely good grades or high GPAs (that are often unrealistic or unnecessary). Most colleges do not require students to have anywhere near perfect good grades or GPAs, meaning students should set realistic goals while still making it possible to achieve long-term goals. Setting realistic goals for good grades can also lead students to minimize stress, depression, and other negative effects that come with perfectionism.

7) Physical Health Problems

Some students might also suffer from physical health problems that are either genetic (such as Type I Diabetes) or behavioral health problems (such as obesity). In the case of a young student with obesity, his or her most difficult class might be the physical exercise (PE) class. This student might look at other students performing the daily physical activity for class and feel a sense of inadequacy that can grow over time and lead to depression, especially if not properly addressed or guided.

There is also a slew of other physical health problems that might contribute to a student’s struggle and depression when in school. These health problems might also make it difficult for students to complete homework when away from school, due to a variety of factors.

8) Weight Loss Problems (Homework Cause Depression)

Weight loss may occur when students are overly focused on school and have little to no time to eat a highly nutritious meal. Since food gives energy to the brain and is responsible for many vital functions of the human body, it is no wonder why depression might arise out of weight loss. In addition, many students, particularly young female students, go through a time that challenges their self-image. Other students and social media might pressure these students into conforming to non-realistic beauty standards via weight loss.

9) Young Adults and Lack of Balance

High schoolers and college students are still very young in the grand scheme of life, with many lacking the crucial ability to balance school and homework with other parts of their lives. Especially with the amount of homework some classes assign, students might not balance enough time that is necessary to complete the assigned work. Students might spend much time procrastinating homework and doing fun, but less productive activities, such as playing sports or video games. Mental health counselors (either at school or in a clinical setting) can be extremely effective at helping students manage school work and ultimately avoid depression.

10) Homework and Test Scores

High schoolers and older students must find enough time to complete homework and study to get optimal test scores. Although this does vary from class to class, most individuals will have at least a few classes where balancing homework and testing is critical for success. Test anxiety is a big factor that might lead students to heavily prioritize studying for an exam instead of completing homework. If students are overly concerned with test scores and neglect to complete assigned homework, depressive symptoms may occur.

11) The Importance of Time Management

As mentioned earlier, young children or young people, in general, might often struggle to effectively complete a lot of homework. Building daily habits around homework completion for just 30 minutes per day can add up to make a massive difference (that is 4.5 hours by the end of the school week!). Not only does effective time management make it easier to complete homework, but it also removes much of the stress, procrastination, and even depression that might come as a result of little to no time management.

For younger children or even high schoolers, an adult role model can significantly help develop these necessary habits sooner rather than later.

12) Prestigious Schools Like Stanford University

High schoolers looking to get accepted into prestigious colleges like Stanford University, or college students already in prestigious schools likely have higher chances to suffer from homework-related depression. High schoolers that are accepted into Stanford University have an average GPA of 3.95 out of 4.00.

This means students trying to get into ivy league schools hold themselves to an extreme standard. This extreme standard will inevitably cause a lack of sleep, depression, and a variety of other negative effects. This does not mean that it is impossible to successfully be accepted into Stanford University, it just means it will be very challenging.

13) Teachers Assign Busy Work

Sometimes teachers (mostly in high school) assign work that is repetitive, not super challenging, and time-consuming to complete. These types of assignments are generally referred to as “busy work,” and can be the bane of some high schoolers’ existence. The problem with busy work is that students begin to focus on the completion of the homework due to the sheer amount of time they know it will take to complete it. This takes away from the overall learning experience of the student and will lead many high school students to procrastinate. Procrastination can lead to piled-up homework and can have a negative impact on the student’s depression levels. Ultimately, teachers that assign busy homework cause depression.

14) Family Stress at Home (Homework Cause Depression)

Sometimes the cause of depression is much deeper than meets the eye, with homework simply exacerbating these untouched issues. One deeper issue revolves around family members and the lack of much-needed social support from parents, siblings, and other family members in the household. These family members might simply be unwilling to provide homework support to young adults, or the issue might be as bad as mental or physical abuse. If you know someone that is being abused, please seek help immediately to help them in the long run. It is clear that these issues could easily lead one to depression.

15) Lack of Friendships and Social Life

Being isolated at school and/or at home might be one of the risk factors for developing depression from homework. Friendships can be mutually beneficial when completing tasks such as homework since students are able to check each others’ work and reduce the overall stress of heavy workloads. Students that always seem to be alone or are even bullied might be at an increased risk of serious mental health problems. It is true that some young people and older students work best alone, but this is definitely a warning sign to keep an eye out for if you are a parent.

Putting isolated students into a club or sport they have an initial interest in might be a fantastic way to help them create valuable bonds with those around them and prevent depression!

16) Social Media and Student Well-Being

Social media is something that has had clear negative effects on the mental health of many age groups in the United States but also across the world. Social media often promotes the action of comparing one’s self to others, which might be academic success in this case. Individuals that are constantly watching other students succeed online may feel like they are the only one that does not understand the course material.

The amount of time spent on social media can also often take away from time that high schoolers could be spent completing homework and other important things. Ultimately, social media is best, like many things, when consumed in moderation and is not used to negatively compare oneself with others.

17) Stomach Problems Such as Celiac Disease

Stomach problems include, but are not limited to celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), lactose intolerance, and constipation or gas. Most of these stomach problems have nausea and even vomiting as some of their primary negative effects. Attempting to do homework or even come to school when having severe nausea is challenging, to say the least. Students with these issues will often have less time as a result, and may even feel as though homework cause depression.

From the list above, there are many clear reasons why excessive homework assignments might lead a student of any age to depression. If you or someone you know struggles with severe depression, please seek professional help. Although there are many ways homework can cause depression, we are strong and capable of overcoming the depression and still achieving success. Ultimately, social support from family and friends, academic guidance, and a consistent homework routine are just a few of the things that might help reduce depression caused by homework.

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4 Ways Parents Can Deal With Summer Homework, According to Experts Say

Most schools assign summer homework with good intentions, but they don't always know how to make school-break assignments meaningful.

maximizing learning and engaging students

School’s out for summer! Around the country, students have chucked their backpacks and planners aside and rejoiced. That is, if they don’t have summer homework.

A hotly debated topic in education, summer assignments can involve reading, online work, packets, and/or real-life enrichment opportunities in communities that students are responsible for completing by the time school resumes. It’s become a burden for some families whose parents work in the summer, or who lack teacher support or internet access. On the other hand, some parents want their children doing summer work to keep them busy and engaged in academics, and to prevent the “summer slide” — a regression in learning some educators believe occurs between school years.

Licensed Psychologist Connie McReynolds , Ph.D., says summer work can sometimes cause children to feel like they’re still at school. “It can lead to burnout before the next school year begins,” she says. For others, she says, the structure and routine are beneficial.

So summer homework can be advantageous — if it’s done right. The bad news is that, in a lot of cases, it isn’t. Here’s what the experts had to say about if, when and how summer work should be assigned — and how parents can cope if their school is missing the mark.

When Summer Homework Is Done Right

It should be intentional and (actually) educational..

“Summer work for the sake of raising and/or setting expectations for rigor is baseless,” Davis says. “Students often put off the work until the last minute and complete the work for compliance, not true learning. And that’s only exacerbated when the teachers don’t create a meaningful classroom connection to the summer work.” This points to a problem with practices around all homework — are they meaningful practice, or just a check-the-box completion grade?

Teachers might feel they can’t teach all the material during the school year. But a 2023 study found that summer learning had a small impact on math test scores for students but not reading. Additional recent data has shown that the impact of the “summer slide” depends on a variety of factors, including grade and poverty levels.

What parents can do : “The teacher should provide a clear connection to how the summer work is going to enhance the learning and/or enrich the learning that will occur at the start of the year,” Davis says. “If there isn’t a clear explanation of the purpose of the summer work, parents should reach out to the teacher directly for clarity regarding the purpose of the work and if it is required." Don’t worry about being a nudge. “Parents should keep in mind they are advocates for their children and asking questions for clarity creates a two way dialogue with the teacher,” she adds.

It should come with tech and academic support.

A key pillar of homework is homework help — that is, if the purpose is real learning.

Many parents can probably relate to a scenario like this: “Hey mom, I’m supposed to work on a school app called blah blah blah.”

“Oh, okay, what’s the password?”

“I don’t know.”

And even if they can log in, what happens if kids don’t understand the assignments? Many parents can relate to not knowing the answer to a homework question a kid is asking, and not knowing which resources to use to find it. Adding in homework help around work hours can add stress to a family.

Not a whole lot of learning is happening in these situations, which all lead back to one missing aspect to effective homework practices — teacher support. Teachers are off in the summer, but if students aren’t, there’s an issue with technical troubleshooting and guided instruction.

“Homework should reinforce skills learned in the classroom,” Davis says. “Unfortunately all too often students are left to complete homework without the foundational knowledge to complete it to enhance their learning. During the summer months teachers are typically not available leaving the students to complete the homework with little to no direction which could result in them replicating bad habits without any checkpoints or feedback.”

What parents can do : It’s absolutely reasonable to expect summer support to have necessary technology and instructional guidance, even in the summer. “Students should be able to access the teacher to provide clarity, answer questions and/or to provide feedback,” Davis says. She again recommends communicating with the school as early as possible about how students are supposed to get tech or instructional support.

It should be inclusive and low-stress.

A student with an Individualized Education Plan, or a 504 plan, who typically has extra homework time looks at a large packet at the start of summer. Do they still have double time? What resources are available to them? These are concerns that all families, but especially those with additional academic and learning needs, have to navigate.

“Parents of children with ADHD are naturally concerned about whether being away from academic studies over the summer will lead to the ‘summer slide,’” McReynolds says. “This concern leads parents to struggle with whether to push on through the summer or give children a break from the pressure.”

Students who don’t have access to support can see an increase in academic-related stress too. According to a 2021 study by Challenge Success, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, 56% of students reported an increase in stress from school . The same report found that during the school year, students spent an average of three hours on homework each weeknight, with 51% reporting they spent more time on homework than they did in the past. But 42% reported they had a decreased level of engagement for school and learning. So, experts are torn on whether homework actually increases engagement, and even learning.

“All too often the completion or lack thereof is utilized to gatekeep students out of higher level courses,’ Davis says. “In the event a student faces this, parents need to actively advocate for inclusion in the class regardless of completion of the summer work.”

What parents can do: “Individual accommodations and modifications included in a student’s IEP/504 must be taken into account,” Davis says. “Another approach to summer work would be for the parent and student to create a scaffolded schedule to complete the work as opposed to waiting until the final weeks of summer to complete it all at once. Ultimately, the mental health of the student is most important and parents and/or the student should actively communicate with the teacher directly to discuss concerns throughout the summer.”

High schoolers who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which sometimes require summer work, can consider opting for a College Credit Plus (CPP) class, when appropriate for them. CPP classes often carry the same weight without the summer work, but it varies state to state, and parents and students should ensure the desired university they would like to attend accepts CPP classes as credit as they do with AP. Pro tip from Davis: Ask around or ask the teacher before April or May to determine summer homework plans for an AP class, because you might miss the deadline to do CPP if you wait until summer.

It should even be…fun!

There just might be room in summer homework for a bit of enjoyment, with the right set up.

“I believe summer homework is detrimental for several reasons,” Davis says. “It perpetuates burnout … preventing students from fully relaxing and recharging during their break. This can negatively impact their mental health and overall well-being.” So, the only summer homework our experts are interested in are fun activities that enrich family or community life, or personal development.

Emily Pendergrass , associate professor of the Practice of Literacy and Reading Education at Vanderbilt University says summer homework should be meaningful for families, teachers and learning. “It should be interactive,” she says. “It shouldn’t be one size fits all…we should be moving towards learning and curiosity.”

Summer homework should move into meaningful activities, Pendergrass says. For example, instead of keeping a reading log that just lists the titles of books and how many minutes were read, students can be tasked with drawing a picture of what they read, writing an alternate ending, or making a short video about the reading to share with classmates when they’re back to school.

What parents can do: In the end, there’s no faster way to get students to hate school than assigning a classic piece of literature, and telling them good luck, see you in the fall. Pushback from parents, community and students themselves can ensure summer work, if necessary, is equitable and purposeful, well-supported and inclusive. Or, we can just cut it all together and go read something fun by the pool…

When to Call It Off

If your child is too stressed about summer homework, you and your child, and their educators, can discuss together if the right move is to simply not do it . What are the consequences? The ramifications of this depend on the school, and the program. In some places, summer work might not account for a large portion of their final grade and a student might be confident they can make it up during the school year. In others, they might be able to choose a less rigorous course without a summer homework requirement. Then again, skipping summer homework might result in failing a class if the summer assignments are weighted heavily in the final grade. You can also consider asking for an alternative or makeup assignment, which often would be considered on a case-by-case basis. “If summer work is being graded on completion, and not truly being utilized at the start of the year to extend instruction, the student, parent and teacher need to actively discuss the true purpose of the work,” Davis says.

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Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist and content marketing writer, focusing on health and wellness, parenting, education, and lifestyle. She has been published in the Atlantic , Glamour , Today’s Parent , Reader’s Digest , Consumer Reports , Women’s Health , and National Geographic . She spends her “free” time with her five kids under age 8, and testing lots of products. To connect or read more of her work please visit alexandra-frost.com or follow her on social media: Twitter Instagram Linked In .

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Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students’ Mental Health

How much homework is too much?

health issues caused by homework

Homework has become a matter of concern for educators, parents, and researchers due to its potential effects on students’ stress levels. It’s no secret students often find themselves grappling with high levels of stress and anxiety throughout their academic careers, so understanding the extent to which homework affects those stress levels is important. 

By delving into the latest research and understanding the underlying factors at play, we hope to curate insights for educators, parents, and students who are wondering  is homework causing stress in their lives?

The Link Between Homework and Stress: What the Research Says

Over the years, numerous studies investigated the relationship between homework and stress levels in students. 

One study published in the Journal of Experimental Education found that students who reported spending more than two hours per night on homework experienced higher stress levels and physical health issues . Those same students reported over three hours of homework a night on average.

This study, conducted by Stanford lecturer Denise Pope, has been heavily cited throughout the years, with WebMD eproducing the below video on the topic– part of their special report series on teens and stress : 

Additional studies published by Sleep Health Journal found that long hours on homework on may be a risk factor for depression while also suggesting that reducing workload outside of class may benefit sleep and mental fitness .

Lastly, a study presented by Frontiers in Psychology highlighted significant health implications for high school students facing chronic stress, including emotional exhaustion and alcohol and drug use.

Homework’s Potential Impact on Mental Health and Well-being

Homework-induced stress on students can involve both psychological and physiological side effects. 

1. Potential Psychological Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Anxiety: The pressure to perform academically and meet homework expectations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety in students. Constant worry about completing assignments on time and achieving high grades can be overwhelming.

• Sleep Disturbances : Homework-related stress can disrupt students’ sleep patterns, leading to sleep anxiety or sleep deprivation, both of which can negatively impact cognitive function and emotional regulation.

• Reduced Motivation: Excessive homework demands could drain students’ motivation, causing them to feel fatigued and disengaged from their studies. Reduced motivation may lead to a lack of interest in learning, hindering overall academic performance.

2. Potential Physical Effects of Homework-Induced Stress:

• Impaired Immune Function: Prolonged stress could weaken the immune system, making students more susceptible to illnesses and infections.

• Disrupted Hormonal Balance : The body’s stress response triggers the release of hormones like cortisol, which, when chronically elevated due to stress, can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance and lead to various health issues.

• Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Stress has been known to affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, and other digestive problems.

• Cardiovascular Impact: The increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure associated with stress can strain the cardiovascular system, potentially increasing the risk of heart-related issues in the long run.

• Brain impact: Prolonged exposure to stress hormones may impact the brain’s functioning , affecting memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.

The Benefits of Homework

It’s important to note that homework also offers many benefits that contribute to students’ academic growth and development, such as: 

• Development of Time Management Skills: Completing homework within specified deadlines encourages students to manage their time efficiently. This valuable skill extends beyond academics and becomes essential in various aspects of life.

• Preparation for Future Challenges : Homework helps prepare students for future academic challenges and responsibilities. It fosters a sense of discipline and responsibility, qualities that are crucial for success in higher education and professional life.

• Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities: Homework often presents students with challenging problems to solve. Tackling these problems independently nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

While homework can foster discipline, time management, and self-directed learning, the middle ground may be to  strike a balance that promotes both academic growth and mental well-being .

How Much Homework Should Teachers Assign?

As a general guideline, educators suggest assigning a workload that allows students to grasp concepts effectively without overwhelming them . Quality over quantity is key, ensuring that homework assignments are purposeful, relevant, and targeted towards specific objectives. 

Advice for Students: How to balance Homework and Well-being

Finding a balance between academic responsibilities and well-being is crucial for students. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help manage homework-related stress and foster a healthier approach to learning:

• Effective Time Management : Encourage students to create a structured study schedule that allocates sufficient time for homework, breaks, and other activities. Prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals can prevent last-minute rushes and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

• Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks : Large assignments can be daunting and may contribute to stress. Students should break such tasks into smaller, manageable parts. This approach not only makes the workload seem less intimidating but also provides a sense of accomplishment as each section is completed.

• Find a Distraction-Free Zone : Establish a designated study area that is free from distractions like smartphones, television, or social media. This setting will improve focus and productivity, reducing time needed to complete homework.

• Be Active : Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and enhance mood. Encourage students to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport, or doing yoga.

• Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques : Encourage students to engage in mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to alleviate stress and improve concentration. Taking short breaks to relax and clear the mind can enhance overall well-being and cognitive performance.

• Seek Support : Teachers, parents, and school counselors play an essential role in supporting students. Create an open and supportive environment where students feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking help when needed.

How Healium is Helping in Schools

Stress is caused by so many factors and not just the amount of work students are taking home.  Our company created a virtual reality stress management solution… a mental fitness tool called “Healium” that’s teaching students how to learn to self-regulate their stress and downshift in a drugless way. Schools implementing Healium have seen improvements from supporting dysregulated students and ADHD challenges to empowering students with body awareness and learning to self-regulate stress . Here’s one of their stories. 

By providing students with the tools they need to self-manage stress and anxiety, we represent a forward-looking approach to education that prioritizes the holistic development of every student. 

To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below.

About the Author

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Sarah Hill , a former interactive TV news journalist at NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates in Missouri, gained recognition for pioneering interactive news broadcasting using Google Hangouts. She is now the CEO of Healium, the world’s first biometrically powered immersive media channel, helping those with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other struggles through biofeedback storytelling. With patents, clinical validation, and over seven million views, she has reshaped the landscape of immersive media.

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3 Surprising Health Risks of Working From Home

 Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Key Takeaways

  • More people are working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While avoiding the office and staying socially distant is crucial to stopping the spread of the virus, working from home can bring about other health concerns.
  • A recent study found that 41.2% of at-home workers report low back pain and 23.5% experience neck pain.
  • Experts say that many of these health issues can be prevented or alleviated by taking simple measures to improve your work-from-home environment.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic , more people around the world are working remotely. While the measure has been critical to helping control the spread of the virus, it hasn't come without compromise. As the number of people working from home has increased, healthcare providers have seen a rise in work-related injuries that are unique to the home environment.

That said, experts are hoping to reassure the remote workforce that many of these problems can be prevented or alleviated by taking simple steps to improve your at-home workspace.

Early Research

A small study conducted by researchers in Itlay has provided early insight into the potential impact that the increase in working from home amid the COVID-19 could have.  

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, surveyed 51 at-home workers in Italy. The results showed that 41.2% of at-home workers reported low back pain, while 23.5% reported neck pain. About half of the respondents said that their neck pain (50%) had gotten worse since they started working from home.

While the study was small and limited in scope, it asks some important questions for employees who are trying to minimize the physical and emotional toll of their new work life. The good news is, there are some practical solutions that most workers can benefit from.

What This Means For You

If you're working from home, there are a few proactive steps you can take to help protect your physical and mental wellbeing. Take frequent breaks (set a reminder alarm if you need to), try to reduce your screen time when you can, get regular exercise, avoid eating at your desk or workspace, and stick to defined working hours.

When you aren't working, look for safe and socially distant ways to connect with others. If you notice any new or worsening health issues, be sure to talk to your provider.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain from a not-quite-right desk set-up, unsupportive chair, or just long hours sitting down is a common problem among workers—both in an office setting and at home.

Meredith Christiansen, DPT, PhD , specializes in ergonomics at Fern Health , where she is a clinical scientist for the at-home musculoskeletal pain care program.

Christiansen recommends placing your computer monitor about arms' length away and keeping your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. It also helps to avoid sitting on the couch or in bed for prolonged periods.

While proper ergonomic alignment matters, Christiansen tells Verywell that it's even more important to get up and move or change positions every hour of your workday. For example, try alternating between sitting at the dining room table and standing at the kitchen counter (which could serve as a standing desk).

If you're still uncomfortable, don't ignore it. "If you are in pain, it’s important to get it managed right away, so it doesn’t become a more chronic issue," Christiansen says.

After hours at your computer, you've probably felt your vision going a little blurry or even developed a slight headache. Eye strain is a common complaint, but one that is on the rise in remote workers.

Danielle Richardson, OD , optometrist, a consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision, and the founder of Fierce Clarity (a holistic lifestyle and wellness company), tells Verywell that sustained focus on screens is the main reason people working at home experience increased eye strain.

"There are eye muscles that contract when we look up close, and when we look away they relax," Richardson says. "Everything we are doing is on a screen right now, and so there are fewer visual breaks. Meetings are happening via Zoom, people are sending emails instead of speaking to co-workers, and eating lunch in front of the screen."

Richardson recommends adjusting the angle of your computer screen to be 15 to 20 degrees below the horizontal eye level.

Another contributor to eye straight is the " blue light " emitted from screens, which can disrupt vision. "Blue light focuses in front of the retina, so the eye has to work harder to focus on the screen with that wavelength," Richardson says. "Wearing glasses that filter out the blue light will make digital devices more comfortable.

Richardson recommends following the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, take a screen break and focus on an object that's 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds.

Getting up and moving can also help. "I encourage my patients to go for a walk, or have a cup of coffee or tea and look outside," Richardson says.

Glasses and Contact Lenses

If you try making these changes but eye strain and headaches persist, it might be time to make an appointment with an optometrist to see if glasses would help.

"We are prescribing a lot more 'computer glasses,' prescription glasses specifically to relax the muscles while they look at the computer screen," Richardson says. "Even that little bit of extra work can trigger migraines."

If you prefer contact lenses to glasses, she says "daily disposable contact lenses are thinner and more breathable than monthly or two-week lenses. We’ve been switching a lot of patients to make them more comfortable."

If you decide to go the contact lens route, Richardson recommends using a hydrogen peroxide-based contact lens cleaning solution to prevent the build-up of debris.

Richardson also recommends using a lubricant for dry eyes . "Whenever you are doing sustained near work you blink less, so I recommend over the counter artificial tears."

Mental Health

Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD , a professor of public health at New Mexico State University, is currently researching the mental health effects of working from home.

Khubchandani has identified several commonalities among those who work from home and have increased health risks. “American homes were not designed to be offices," Khubchandani tells Verywell. "Indoor environmental parameters are not well examined in the home office setting." Khubchandani's study shows how a poor indoor environment can lead to headaches and pain disorders.  

“More people are working a greater number of hours, and there are no office time boundaries,” he says. “The lack of scheduled work times will take away from leisure time and as is, people are socializing less and there is lesser human contact, which is a big risk for mental health issues.”

In addition to the effects on mental health, isolation and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to weight gain and obesity. In some cases, a lack of workplace-related health services might allow preexisting health issues to get worse, and preventative care could suffer as well.

On the upside, some participants in Khubchandani's study reported better health since they began working remotely. “Some individuals are now less likely to skip meals, fast, or eat unhealthy due to having more control over their lives, such as saved commute time."

Beyond physical health, the benefits of being at home more can extend to emotional wellbeing and even productivity. “More opportunities to stay with children and family means greater cooking at home as well and improved diet and sleep and social bonding for some,” Khubchandani says. “Studies have shown greater productivity in remote work, another health benefiting impact for some workers.”

Moretti A, Menna F, Aulicino M, Paoletta M, Liguori S, Iolascon G. Characterization of home working population during COVID-19 emergency: A cross-sectional analysis .  Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2020;17(17):6284. doi:10.3390/ijerph17176284

Tietjen GE, Khubchandani J, Ghosh S, Bhattacharjee S, Kleinfelder J. Headache symptoms and indoor environmental parameters: Results from the EPA BASE study .  Ann Indian Acad Neurol . 2012;15(Suppl 1):S95-S99. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.100029

By Cyra-Lea Drummond, BSN, RN Drummond is a registered nurse and a writer specializing in heart health, cardiac care, pediatric health, and more.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Dangers of heat-related illnesses

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Scorching temperatures continue to blanket much of the U.S. in an ongoing summer heat wave. Prolonged exposure to both heat and humidity can lead to  heat-related illnesses  — from heat cramps to exhaustion to life-threatening  heatstroke .

Dr. Jesse Bracamonte,  a Mayo Clinic family physician, offers recommendations on what to do if you begin to feel ill. 

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (1:00) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the  script .

Prolonged exposure to the heat and humidity can put you at risk for a range of heat-related illnesses, from mild to severe.

"Heat can affect people's bodies by increasing the core body temperature, ability to sweat and cause dehydration that's causing further medical problems and ensuing issues, and eventually can lead to heat exhaustion — in some cases, severe heat illness, known as heatstroke," says Dr. Bracamonte.

The biggest health concern, he says, is heatstroke, "which can cause disorientation, confusion, and inability to cool yourself, nausea and vomiting."

health issues caused by homework

Take precautions and seek care at the first signs of heat illness, which can be serious, even life-threatening.

"When an individual has signs of heat-related illness, it's important that they seek care quickly. That includes getting cooled quickly, drinking cool fluids and staying out of the heat," Dr. Bracamonte says.

Drinks containing electrolytes can help with dehydration. He says prevention is best.

"Acclimate to the heat, and don't go out during the warmest parts of the day — try to find the coolest parts of the day to keep yourself healthy and away from heat-related illness," he says.

Related posts:

  • How extreme heat and humidity affect your health
  • Understanding effects of heat on mental health
  • Sports Safety Spotlight: Mayo advises teens on how to get back in the game safely after shoulder injury In case you missed it: This week’s Top 5 stories on social media

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7 Ways Heat Impacts Health

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While we often welcome the warm sunshine as summer rolls in, extreme heat can pose serious threats to the region, its landscape and our daily lives. As climate change continues to drive temperatures higher, understanding the impact of heat on health has never been more critical.

At UC San Diego, researchers across disciplines are at the forefront of investigating how heat affects our well-being, uncovering innovative insights to help combat these new challenges. Extreme heat, which is recognized as a prolonged period of high heat when temperatures hit above 90 degrees, is becoming more common in the United States and around the world as climate change warms the planet.

Drawing from the expertise of the university community , here is a list of seven ways that heat impacts health. Through collaboration and innovation, these insights can help pave the way for a healthier future for all.

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Mortality and Morbidity Rates

Climate change is unleashing more frequent, intense and prolonged periods of extreme heat, posing deadly risks and serious health issues. Alexandra K. Heaney, assistant professor at the UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, is at the forefront of research exploring this intersection between climate change and human health. 

In a recent working paper —co-authored with Carlos F. Gould, an assistant professor and environmental scientist at the Herbert Wertheim School, and Joshua S. Graff Zivin, a professor and an economist at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, alongside other collaborators—their findings underscore how both extreme heat and cold contribute significantly to mortality and overall disease burden in societies.

Rising temperatures are also expected to cause more deaths due to heat, which will be a major factor in the economic costs of climate change. Not only do temperature changes affect deaths, but they also can increase how often people visit the emergency room.

Gould explained that their research found that emergency department visits go up with any increases in temperatures. "Even in California, we see that extreme heat damages public health, with increasing emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths in months with extremely hot days,” said Gould. He added, "it's not just the more obvious heat-related illnesses like dehydration or heat stroke that follow hot days, but we also see clear increases in emergency department visits from mental health, poisonings, digestive disorders and accidental injuries."

Tarik Benmarhnia, an environmental epidemiologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is also studying the various ways that climate change is posing a threat to human health. Some of his latest research focuses on how dangerous heat and wildfire smoke can impact health. A new study led by Scripps in collaboration with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health saw that hospitalizations increased, especially when both heat and smoke occurred on the same day. And, in areas where residents were more likely to be poorer, people of color, living in higher-density housing and less likely to have health insurance, the harm from natural hazards was greater.

Benmarhnia has also been reconstructing heat wave activity from past decades, noting that such events are becoming more frequent, severe and longer-lasting. "It was really the public health impacts that brought this heat wave to public consciousness," he said, referring to the unprecedented toll of the July 2006 heat wave in California, which caused nearly 600 deaths.

Dehydration

High temperatures can cause an array of health concerns, including dehydration and heatstroke. With dehydration, the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Dr. Ian Neel, associate clinical professor and the medical director of the Geriatric Medicine Consult Service at Senior Behavioral Health at UC San Diego Health, routinely treats those with dehydration in his work as a clinician who specializes in caring for older adults. In fact, heat exposure and safety are core components of the geriatric medicine board certification. 

“In particular with our geriatric population, dehydration is a major risk factor for delirium, which can have a 30% one-year mortality associated with it,” explained Dr. Neel. “If we can address things like dehydration, as well as other simple things like constipation and pain, then we actually lower somebody's mortality risk by lowering their risk of delirium.”

“As we age, what we find is our body becomes more at risk of consequences of dehydration—we find that our blood vessels stiffen as a normal part of aging,” said Neel, who explained that this may lead to a drop in blood pressure and increased risk of falling. Further, while everyone is at risk of heatstroke when temperatures rise, the risk is especially high for children as well as older adults who may take medications that affect blood pressure regulation. So beyond critical issues like heat stroke and heat exhaustion, Dr. Neel sees that the simple loss of fluid from heat itself can be significantly harmful to older adults.

Medication Effectiveness

Some common medications, such as insulin, inhalers and EpiPens, can be damaged by high temperatures that destroy the drug’s active ingredient. This is a particular concern for mail-order prescriptions, which are an increasingly common and convenient option for patients.

Diabetes expert Candis Morello, professor of clinical pharmacy at UC San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, takes care to advise her patients about the risks of high summer temperatures and their potential impact on their medication. 

“Elevated temperatures are of particular concern for our patients with diabetes who live in east county San Diego, where temperatures can easily soar above100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer,” says Morello. “It’s vital that patients who use injectable medications such as insulin or GLP-1 RAs or dual GIP/GLP-1 RA are aware that they should retrieve their medications from the mail or their doorstep immediately and always store them in a refrigerator or in a cool, dry location as instructed.”

Cognitive Performance 

Heat doesn't just affect our bodies—it can also cloud our minds, leading to lapses in our cognitive functioning that make everyday tasks feel like a challenge. Joshua Graff Zivin, professor of economics and the director of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy Peter F. Cowhey Center on Global Transformation, has investigated the impact of weather on cognitive performance—specifically, how heat impacts students’ learning and education performance. 

Graff Zivin's research demonstrates that weather significantly influences students' academic performance across all age groups, from elementary school to college. A notable example is a study looking at data from China , which examined the impact of varying temperatures during the national college entrance exam. This study, the first nationwide estimate of temperature effects on high-stakes cognitive performance in a developing country, revealed that students who took the exam during hotter weeks performed worse, affecting their chances of admission to prestigious universities.

Referring to what we can learn from this research, Graff Zivin says, “First, this bolsters the case for addressing climate change and minimizing exposure to extreme heat since it impairs our ability to think and to perform our jobs. Employers should install AC or provide reasonable breaks from the heat, not just to keep their workers healthy, but because it will improve firm productivity.” He also added, “When we cannot avoid extreme heat, we should avoid making major life decisions.”

Physical Activity 

As temperatures climb, those exercising outdoors may feel more than just the burn—rising temperatures can even influence activity choices. Several years ago, Alexandra K. Heaney began research that looked at the relationship between ambient temperature and bike share usage in New York City. 

In the study , she and her collaborators discovered that as temperatures rose, the estimated hours and distance biked increased significantly. However, bike usage declined once temperatures exceeded 26-28°C (78.80-82.4°F). And looking ahead, while their projections for annual bike riding specific to New York City suggest that bike usage could potentially increase by up to 3.1% by 2070 as a result of climate change, they see projected decreases in bike usage in the hotter summer months. 

“As temperatures continue to increase, it's interesting for us to try to understand how that is going to impact outdoor physical activity—or even more specifically—outdoor active transport that people are willing to undertake,” said Heaney. 

Conversely, this could also affect the future of our climate. While active transport is promoted as a major strategy to combat climate change by encouraging people to drive less, reduce pollution and opt for biking or walking more, Heaney adds that this may be difficult to achieve as “this increase in extreme heat dissuades people from participating in active transport.”

Mental Health

Climate change isn't just about rising temperatures; it also can have consequences for mental health ranging from heightened stress and anxiety to feelings of depression. Jyoti Mishra, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the director of the university’s Neural Engineering and Translation Labs, has been looking into the toll on mental health taken by extreme climate events that have been accelerated by climate change. 

In a study assessing the impact of the 2018 Camp Fire —California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire—Mishra and her colleagues found that direct exposure to large fires significantly increases the risk of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. They also observed that merely witnessing such disasters within one’s community can profoundly impact an individual's mental well-being.

“Our research shows that climate extremes can have long-term impacts on mental health. It implies that it is extremely important to take into account mental health when developing climate resilience plans,” said Mishra. “Access to mental health services as well as greater community cohesion can protect mental well-being. Related research shows that when communities implement effective disaster preparedness, then post-disaster mental health is significantly protected.”

Increase in Malaria 

High temperatures are also reshaping the landscape of the spread of diseases like malaria, which could intensify transmission rates worldwide. The latest World Health Organization report underscores this concern, noting a staggering 247 million global malaria cases in 2021.

Generally, warmer climates and adequate rainfall create the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Gordon McCord, associate teaching professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, has used spatial data analysis to illustrate the impact of diseases like malaria under changing climate conditions. His 2016 paper predicted that by the end of this century, the malaria burden could increase by 47% in places where it's already a problem, further complicating global efforts towards elimination. 

“A warming planet and changing precipitation patterns will alter the intensity and geographic extent of multiple mosquito-borne diseases. This will pose increasing health risks to populations around the world,” said McCord. “National health systems and the international community should leverage increasingly accurate climate-epidemiology models to proactively allocate resources for disease prevention and treatment.”

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  2. Is Homework Bad for Mental Health? Examining the Risks and How to Help

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  3. 22 Main Reasons Why is Homework Harmful For Students

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  4. Exploring How Does Homework Affect Students’ Health

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COMMENTS

  1. Health Hazards of Homework

    Health Hazards of Homework. Pediatrics. A new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and colleagues found that students in high-performing schools who did excessive hours of homework "experienced greater behavioral engagement in school but also more academic stress, physical health problems, and lack of balance in their lives.".

  2. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health ...

  3. Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

    * Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they ...

  4. More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research

    • Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

  5. School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say

    In most cases, that stress is from academics, not social issues or bullying, the poll found. (See the full results here .) Homework was a leading cause of stress, with 24 percent of parents saying ...

  6. PDF Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    Talkspace, says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. And for all the distress homework causes, it's not as useful as many may

  7. Homework Struggles May Not Be a Behavior Problem

    Key points. Mental health challenges and neurodevelopmental differences directly affect children's ability to do homework. Understanding what difficulties are getting in the way—beyond the usual ...

  8. Is homework a necessary evil?

    But they were not more invested in the homework itself. They also reported greater academic stress and less time to balance family, friends and extracurricular activities. They experienced more physical health problems as well, such as headaches, stomach troubles and sleep deprivation. "Three hours per night is too much," Galloway says.

  9. Homework could have an impact on kids' health. Should schools ban it?

    Elementary school kids are dealing with large amounts of homework. Howard County Library System, CC BY-NC-ND. One in 10 children report spending multiple hours on homework. There are no benefits ...

  10. hot topic (Homework as a Mental Health Concern)

    Homework as a Mental Health Concern. It's time for an in depth discussion about homework as a major concern for those pursuing mental health in schools. So many problems between kids and their families, the home and school, and students and teachers arise from conflicts over homework. The topic is a long standing concern for mental health ...

  11. Addressing Student Mental Health Through the Lens of Homework Stress

    Keywords: homework, stress, mental health The outcomes of adolescent mental health is a threat to students' health and wellbeing, more so than it ever has been in the modern era. As of 2019, the CDC reported a nearly 40. percent increase in feelings of sadness or hopelessness over the last ten years, and similar.

  12. Excessive homework negatively impacts mental health, causes unnecessary

    This causes students to spend far too much time doing such assignments and can be detrimental. A 2013 study conducted at Stanford University found that students in top-performing school districts who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives and alienation from society.

  13. When Is Homework Stressful? Its Effects on Students' Mental Health

    Lack of sleep. One of the most prevalent adverse effects of schoolwork is lack of sleep. The average student only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night since they stay up late to complete their homework, even though the body needs at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep has an impact on both mental and physical health.

  14. Children's Risk of Suicide Increases on School Days

    In studies in 2013 and 2015, scientists studying homework in the U.S. found that primary school children were averaging 30 minutes of such work per night, while high-performing secondary students ...

  15. Is homework making your child sick?

    Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children's lives; 56% of the ...

  16. Homework can be bad for your mental health. Should we get rid of it?

    Chinese schoolgirl uses robot to do her homework. Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold, says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big ...

  17. Too much homework can be counterproductive

    Instead of improving educational achievement in countries around the world, increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student learning, according to two Penn State researchers. Most teachers worldwide are not making efficient use of homework, said David P. Baker, professor of education and sociology. They assign homework mostly as drill, to ...

  18. Can Excessive Homework Cause Depression?

    These health problems might also make it difficult for students to complete homework when away from school, due to a variety of factors. 8) Weight Loss Problems (Homework Cause Depression) Weight loss may occur when students are overly focused on school and have little to no time to eat a highly nutritious meal.

  19. Impact of homework time on adolescent mental health: Evidence from

    Additionally, this study explores the moderating effects of teacher support and parent involvement. The results indicate that homework time has a negative effect on adolescent mental health, but only when the amount of time spent on homework exceeds about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Overall, there is a non-linear relationship between homework time ...

  20. The Potential Emotional Negative Effects of Too Much Homework

    But when it comes to that homework, one study shows that too many hours of assignments are actually negatively impacting kids' emotional state. High school students who get an average of three hours of homework per night actually experience more stress, physical health issues and lack of balance in their lives, according to research out of ...

  21. Is Summer Summer Homework Necessary? Here's What Experts Say

    A key pillar of homework is homework help — that is, if the purpose is real learning. Many parents can probably relate to a scenario like this: "Hey mom, I'm supposed to work on a school app ...

  22. Does Homework Cause Stress? Exploring the Impact on Students' Mental Health

    Over the years, numerous studies investigated the relationship between homework and stress levels in students. One study published in the Journal of Experimental Education found that students who reported spending more than two hours per night on homework experienced higher stress levels and physical health issues.Those same students reported over three hours of homework a night on average.

  23. 3 Surprising Health Risks of Working From Home

    The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, surveyed 51 at-home workers in Italy. The results showed that 41.2% of at-home workers reported low back pain, while 23.5% reported neck pain. About half of the respondents said that their neck pain (50%) had gotten worse since they started working ...

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