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Playing Video Games at Work Could Decrease Stress

Travis Ketzak
By Travis Ketzak / August 1, 2017

A recent study, published by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, has found that people with high-stress jobs could actually benefit from taking a break during their workday to play some video games.

Stressing out at work isn’t exactly rare. In fact, the majority of Americans suffer from cognitive fatigue and anxiety while at work. Being totally fed up has become a pretty typical part of the average workday.

Luckily, that may no longer be the case.

Michael Rupp, a doctoral student in human factors and cognitive psychology at the University of Central Florida, has been looking for a way to destress people while they’re at work. Since napping at work can sometimes be frowned upon, he turned to video games.

He and his co-authors found that casual video game playing can actually be effective in combating workplace-related stress.

The study involved 66 participants who completed computer tasks that were designed to induce stress and cognitive fatigue. Then, they were all given a five minute break. Some sat quietly doing nothing, some participated in a guided relaxation activity, and others played a casual video game called Sushi Cat, which you can watch the trailer for below. It’s got a fat, bouncing cat,

which seems surprisingly fun.

The participants that played the video game were the only ones to report actually feeling better and more alert after the break. They were able to disconnect and recharge for a moment.

This isn’t the first time technology has been used to ease people’s anxiety, and hopefully it won’t be the last.

P.S. You might want to run it by your boss before bringing your Xbox to work.

Check out Newsweek’s article here for more info.