Before the novel coronavirus stole the spotlight, stress was considered by many – including the World Health Organization – to be the health epidemic of the 21st century. Work-related stress has been shown to be responsible for a series of health conditions ranging from obesity and diabetes to heart disease. Not to mention burnout, a state of excessive exhaustion caused by prolonged, excessive stress.
Burnout has been a problem before the pandemic hit – and with a large percentage of people now working from home, it has become more accentuated lately. Working from home throws a person’s work-life balance off – while working in a home office setting, people tend to overwork. Besides, it comes with all the stress of in-office work but without the social support that was present in a traditional office environment (break rooms, water coolers, smoke breaks spent with colleagues).
How to fight stress? Well, there are many ways in which work-related stress can be relieved, including exercise, yoga, various herbal supplements, and a balanced diet. We can add one more item to the list: playing casual games.
Playing against stress
Playing a quick, casual game is easier today than ever thanks to the proliferation of internet-connected smartphones. Today, people play games more than ever before, and most of the games they play are small, casual, and quick, like the slot machines or blackjack at the Jackpot City Casino. The games at Jackpot City are especially good examples because they are not only colorful and distracting but very easy to learn as well, giving their players the chance to experience a sense of achievement in a matter of seconds. These games are also a great choice because they are “casual” in the true sense of the world: one can put them aside and return to work quickly and without remorse in an instant.
You may have already suspected that casual games are great for stress relief – and science is here to back it. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA has shown that a casual video game, as opposed to other, passive forms of relaxation activity, better restores the individual’s affective abilities and restores their mood in response to stress.
The scientists have studied separate groups of participants who completed affective and cognitive assessment tests before and after taking a break. The tests were the same but the activities the participants engaged in during the breaks were different: some of them participated in guided relaxation activities, others sat quietly in a room, and the third group was playing casual games during their breaks. Those on silent breaks reported feeling less engaged with work when returning, while those who engaged in guided activities have seen their distress decrease – but not quite as much as those who played casual games. The players reported feeling better and more engaged after returning to work.