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Study Reveals the Reality of Videoconferencing Fatigue: Zooming, Teaming, or Webexing Takes a Toll on Your Brain and Heart

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A study reveals that videoconferencing tiredness is real.
Zooming, Teamsing, or Webexing is not enjoyable for your heart or brain.

According to a study written by four Austrian researchers, videoconferencing fatigue (VCF), which leaves you feeling extremely exhausted after a day on Zoom, is real.

“Self-report evidence, collected all around the world, indicates that VCF is a serious issue,”¬†stated the authors of a study that was published in Scientific Reports, a Nature Reports magazine.

The researchers clarified, however, that the majority of the study on VCF that is now accessible is based on firsthand reports of the issue and concentrates on the cause rather than the effects.

The researchers recorded electrical activity in the brains of 35 university students who were hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG) and attended a 50-minute lecture in order to ascertain the impact that hours of videoconferences had on the students’ brains. Another group was asked to view the identical material live by the researchers.

Electrocardiography (ECG) was used by the researchers to compute the impacts on heart rate for the two groups before to and following videoconferencing sessions. In addition, cognitive focus tasks and self-reports on emotions were administered to the subjects.

Remarkably, participants in the in-person lecture expressed feeling happier, more energetic, and less exhausted, sleepy, and impatient than their online counterparts. The EEG results demonstrated brain activity that suggests harder labor and can consequently lead to exhaustion, which is consistent with the self-reporting. The heart data also suggested that online viewers of the lecture experienced more weariness, suggesting that the video version may have had an effect on nerve systems as well.

“A major implication of our study is that videoconferencing should be considered as a possible complement to face-to-face interaction, but not as a substitute,” the scientists wrote.

The quartet quickly acknowledged the shortcomings of the study. For starters, the courses were held in an academic rather than an office context, with the mean age being slightly lower 24

The stress brought on by meatspace issues, such as needing to cross busy highways to get to a meeting, was not contrasted in the study with the stress caused by VCF. The World Health Organization estimates that traffic accidents claim the lives of 1.3 million people annually.

However, these variables were not included in the study, which was carried out under the auspices of the Techno Stress research program in Austria, which focuses on the negative impacts of increased ICT contact.

These include research on social interactions in the metaverse versus video conferencing, the benefits of digital detoxification for stress management, workplace electronic surveillance, and more.

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