NEWS DESK: Among the many aspects of life that cause stress, jobs are the most common. A new study found that relief could come from an unexpected source: playing video games at work, reported Newsdesk.
More than half of Americans regularly experience cognitive fatigue related to stress, frustration, and anxiety while at work, according to the new report, published by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. And those individuals working in safety-critical fields – such as health care and air-traffic control – are at an even greater risk for cognitive fatigue, which could lead to errors.
Michael Rupp, a doctoral student in human factors and cognitive psychology at the University of Central Florida, and his co-authors decided to evaluate whether casual video game play during rest breaks is an effective way to combat workplace stress.
The researchers used a computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 participants, who were then given a five-minute rest break. During the break, participants played a casual video game called Sushi Cat, participated in a guided relaxation activity or sat quietly in the testing room without using a phone or computer.
At various times throughout the experiment, the researchers measured participants’ stress level, mood, and cognitive performance. They found that only the video game players reported that they felt better after taking the break. 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.