Video Games Could Actually Help You Get Through Your Work Day

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A new study by the University of Central Florida finds that engaging in short video game breaks can actually help decrease your work-related stress levels.

As countless surveys and reports tell us, we (especially Americans) are pretty stressed at work. But a short video game break á la high school might be the fix, a new study says.

In the study, 66 subjects participated in a "computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue," and also had a five-minute break. During that break, participants either played a video game called Sushi Cat, went through a guided relaxation activity or just sat in a room sans electronics, ScienceDaily reported. Researchers at the University of Central Florida tracked the subjects' performance as well as their mood and stress levels. 

It turned out that only those who played video games reported feeling better after the break. Those in the guided activity felt distress and those who just had a silent break felt more worried about their work.

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"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," Michael Rupp, one of the researchers, said, according to ScienceDaily.

To help people recharge, he suggests planning out short breaks during the workday to enjoy a fun and engaging activity.

It's a good reminder, too, since work-related stress issues, such as long hours or job insecurity, can lead to health problems ranging from hypertension and cardiovascular disease to poor mental health, The Atlantic reported. 

Now may be the right time to advocate for an office Xbox. 

Thumbnail/banner image credit: Wikimedia Commons user JohnnyMrNinja

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