Regular video game breaks could soon become the norm for employees in the modern workplace, as bosses seeking out new ways to deal with stress among their staff.
Forget yoga or workplace running groups – gaming breaks are fast becoming the major perk offered by hip and happening companies across London and beyond – and the trend could soon spread to other, high-pressure roles in everything from banking to retail.
It comes after new research revealed that playing video games at work may actually be far better at alleviating stress than some of the more common relaxation techniques. A study, conducted at the University of Central Florida, saw researchers use computer-based tasks to generate “cognitive fatigue” among a group of 66 test subjects.
These participants were then given a five-minute break to rest in, during which time they were split into three separate groups. One group took part in a guided relaxation activity, another sat quietly without a phone or computer while a third played a video game called Sushi Cat, which already sounds like the best of the three options.
Throughout this break and the entire experiment, the three groups’ stress levels and overall mood were measured alongside cognitive performance.
The results show that those who didn’t play video games were not only less engaged with their work and more worried as a result. Those who undertook the relaxation activity felt less distress after. However, only the video game players admitted to feeling better after the break.
Michael Rupp, the doctoral student in human factors and cognitive psychology who conducted the study, 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.”
Businesses far and wide could soon be investing in the latest gaming technology in a bid to not only recharge and distress their workforce but also potentially enthuse them for the challenge ahead and it’s an idea that’s got loaded’s vote.