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Stressed at work? Play your favourite video game for five-minutes to feel better

A five-minute break to play your favourite video game can help lighten your mood and reduce stress, says a new study.

fitness Updated: Jul 26, 2017 13:12 IST
Asian News International, Washington DC
Video game,Stress,Work stress
Those who participated in a relaxation activity saw reductions in negative affect and distress.(Shutterstock)

If stress and frustration at work is taking a toll on your performance, take a five-minute break to play your favourite video game, as a study has found that it may help you lighten up your mood. The findings indicated that those who continued without a break reported feeling 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. Previous research had shown that while work stress can make you eat junk food, it can also increase your efficiency.As an activity, cycling to work was shown to reduce stress levels.

Only the video game players reported that they felt better after taking the break. Researchers decided to evaluate whether casual video game play is an effective way to combat workplace stress during rest breaks. Researcher Michael Rupp from the University of Central Florida in the US said, “We often try to power through the day to get more work finished, which might not be as effective as taking some time to detach for a few minutes.”

“People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge,” Rupp added. The team used a computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 participan ts, who were then given a five-minute rest break. During the break, the participants either 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’ affect (e.g., stress level, mood) and cognitive performance.

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First Published: Jul 26, 2017 13:11 IST