Video game breaks can beat stress at work

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Video game breaks can beat stress at work

Posted on : Saturday 29th of July 2017

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Feeling stressed while at work? Playing video games may help, say scientists who suggest that engaging in such enjoyable activities during short breaks can help employees recharge themselves.

People regularly experience cognitive fatigue related to stress, frustration, and anxiety while at work. Those in safety critical fields, such as air traffic control and health care, are at an even greater risk for cognitive fatigue, which could lead to errors. Given the amount of time that people spend playing games on their smartphones and tablets, researchers wanted to evaluate whether playing video games is an effective way to combat workplace stress during rest breaks.

Researchers from University of Central Florida in the US used a computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 participants, who were then given a fiveminute rest break. During the break, participants either played a video game, participated in a guided relaxation activity, or sat quietly in the testing room without using a phone or computer.

Those who took a silent rest break reported that they felt less engaged with work and experienced worry as a result, whereas those who participated in the guided relaxation activity saw reductions in negative affect and distress. Only the video game players reported that they felt better after taking the break.

The study was published in the journal Human Factors.

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