Based on results from a new study conducted by the University of Central Florida, CNET reports that casually playing video games at work for short periods of time can help lower stress levels and improve concentration.
The university conducted this study with 66 participants. The subjects were tasked with using a computer to “perform a repetitive and boring task designed to induce cognitive fatigue”, classified as a decline in decision making and working memory. Following this, subjects were divided into three groups and allowed to rest.
One group was given access to various casual video games, such as Sushi Cat 2 and pachinko. Others were guided through a relaxation activity, while others were only allowed to sit quietly and wait to return to testing.
While the subjects in the guided relaxation group showed an increase in working memory, they were also shown to feel more worried following the break. In contrast, those who were allowed to play a game reported reduced worry, a better mood, and increased engagement with the task at h and. Additionally, out of all three groups, only the group who was asked to play a game reported feeling better following the break.
The study was published Tuesday in Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. While the researchers stressed that more data would be needed to make a conclusive decision, the study’s conclusion states, Playing a casual video game even briefly can restore individuals’ affective abilities, making it a suitable activity to restore mood in response to stress.”