Home Life Style Recent research reveals the physical and mental impact of virtual meetings on Zoom.

Recent research reveals the physical and mental impact of virtual meetings on Zoom.

After engaging in 50 minutes of video conferencing, the study reveals substantial alterations in both brain and heart activity.

by Soofiya

Video calls via platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams have become the primary mode of communication, replacing face-to-face interactions, especially in the initial phases of the pandemic. This shift has given rise to the coined term “zoom fatigue,” capturing the unique exhaustion associated with prolonged video calls.

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports in October delved into the tangible effects of this phenomenon. Conducted at Graz University of Technology in Austria, the experiment involved 35 students attending a 50-minute lecture. Half of the participants attended via video conference with electrodes measuring brain and heart activity, while the other half attended in person.

Utilizing electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) instruments, researchers monitored brain waves, heart rhythms, and signs of mental fatigue. The findings indicated that video conferencing led to higher levels of fatigue, with participants on video calls struggling to maintain attention, feeling drowsy, and expressing dissatisfaction compared to their in-person counterparts, who reported increased happiness and activity during the lecture.

Rene Riedl, a co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, emphasized the significance of the results, suggesting that breaks should be implemented after 30 minutes of video conferencing. The researchers advocated for video conferencing to be seen as a supplementary tool rather than a complete substitute for face-to-face interaction.

The study claims to be the first to provide neurophysiological evidence of “zoom fatigue,” distinguishing itself from previous studies that relied solely on self-reported data through questionnaires. The researchers concluded by recommending further studies to explore effective strategies for mitigating the cognitive costs and stress associated with video conferencing, considering the increasing prevalence of digital communication in today’s world.

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