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Studies Show That Playing Video Games At Work Reduces Stress

School, jobs, family no matter what it may be stress is a part of our everyday life and ways to relieve it are different from everyone some people get massages, some go for walks, and some meditate, but a new study is showing that a good way to relieve stress from work is to play video games.

According to a new study published by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, individuals working in safety-critical-fields such as health care facilities and air traffic controllers are at a greater risk for suffering cognitive fatigue, which could possibly lead to errors. Michael Rupp, a doctoral student in cognitive psychology and human factors at the University at Central Florida along with his colleagues decide to test whether or not play video games during breaks can relieve stress in the work environment. Cognitive is the mental process relating to perception, memory judgment, and reasoning, the researchers began testing their theory by using a computer task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 willing participants either played the video game Sushi Cat during a five minute break, participated in a guided relaxation activity, or sat quietly in a testing room without be able to use a phone nor a computer.

The participants had their stress levels, moods, and cognitive performance measured various times throughout the experiment and the studies showed that only the ones who played video games during the break reported that they felt much less stressed after taking their break, those who participated in the guided relaxation activity reported a reduction in negativity and slight distress, and those who sat in silence reported that they were less active and engaged with their work and began to worry. After seeing the results Rupp stated, “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.”

Though most stress can be harmful to your health and sometimes to those around you, sometimes it can be beneficial to us as well, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that being in a stressful state can help us develop skills in order to complete tasks, meet deadlines, and manage possibly threatening situations. However, overall stress is still mostly harmful, a study finds that more Americans are suffering from stress than ever, in fact, approximately 8.3 million people suffer some form of mental health disorder and psychological distress and usually can’t afford medical treatment for it. So, if you’re stressed at work and are on break, why not take out your trusty phone or maybe even an Nintendo 3DS/2DS to relieve some tension. It just might give you the focus and relief you need. Happy gaming!

Featured Image via Flickr/Valentin Ottone

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