If stress and frustration while working is taking a toll at your performance, then take a five-minute break to play your favorite video game, as a study has found that it may help you lighten up your mood.
The findings indicated that those who took continued without a break reported feeling less engaged with work and experienced worry as a result, whereas those who participated in the guided relaxation activity saw reductions in negative affect and distress.
Only the video game players reported that they felt better after taking the break.
Researchers decided to evaluate whether casual video game play is an effective way to combat workplace stress during rest breaks.
Researcher Michael Rupp from the University of Central Florida in the US 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," Rupp added.
The team used a computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 participants, who were then given a five-minute rest break.
During the break, the participants either played a casual video game called Sushi Cat, participated in a guided relaxation activity, or sat quietly in the testing room without using a phone or computer.
At various times throughout the experiment, the researchers measured participants' affect (e.g., stress level, mood) and cognitive performance.