Simple trick will stop you feeling tired after a work video call, new study finds

By Staff 5 Min Read

A study has found that people who take part in meetings on apps like Zoom or Teams become more fatigued when they can see themselves on screen – but there is a simple solution

A simple trick to avoid feeling drained after a video call has been revealed by experts.

Researchers at the University of Galway in Ireland have discovered that seeing your own image during video conferences, such as on Zoom or Teams, can lead to mental exhaustion. The study also debunked previous research suggesting women experience more fatigue from self-view video conferencing than men, finding both genders equally affected. The team used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor the brain activity of 32 volunteers, half male and half female, during a live Zoom meeting with the self-view mode switched on and off at different intervals.

EEG, which non-invasively records spontaneous electrical activity in the brain via electrodes placed on the head, confirmed that fatigue levels spiked when participants could see their own image. This contradicts earlier studies based on self-reported data, which suggested women suffer more from ‘Zoom fatigue’ due to heightened self-awareness of their appearance.

A recent study by the University of Galway, which examined fatigue at a neurophysiological level, called into question the existence of gender differences in video conferencing exhaustion. The study’s authors highlighted findings that contribute significantly to understanding fatigue induced by the uptick of video usage in business settings and bore practical insights for businesses seeking to safeguard staff wellbeing amidst a digital and offsite work era, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

Amplifying on these findings, Professor Eoin Whelan from the University of Galway said: “The use of video conferencing platforms exploded during the lockdown. They continue to be heavily used in work and education today and offer some advantages over in-person meetings. But people often report feeling exhausted by video conference meetings.

He added: “Our study shows that those feelings of fatigue you get during video calls are real, and seeing your own reflection makes it even more tiring. Simply turning off the mirror image can help offset fatigue in virtual meetings.”

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