The Impact of Virtual Meetings on Your Mental and Physical Health

The Impact of Virtual Meetings on Your Mental and Physical Health

Virtual meetings may lead to severe mental health conditions that could further impact your physical health, be aware; Image source/Screenshot: (0)

According to a study, virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet may have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. It highlights the potential detrimental impact of excessive video chat increasing stress and strain on the brain and heart.

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The Impact of Virtual Meetings on Your Mental and Physical Health

Virtual meetings may lead to severe mental health conditions that could further impact your physical health, be aware; Image source/Screenshot: (0)

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According to a paper published by Nature, virtual meetings held on popular platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet may have unforeseen repercussions on your mental and physical health. These platforms have grown essential to distant work, education and social connections but are being scrutinised for several harmful consequences. 

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Deciphering the Impact of Virtual Meetings on Mental and Physical Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the adoption of virtual communication, making platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Google Meet indispensable tools in various contexts. While these platforms provide unrivalled convenience, recent research is shedding light on the potential health hazards connected with prolonged use. 

A study published by Nature highlights the neurophysiological effects of video conferencing by examining 35 university students during a 50-minute video conference session in an Austrian study. The researchers used electrodes affixed to the students’ heads and chests to assess brain and heart activity. 

Significant alterations in the neurological system were discovered, demonstrating greater brain activity and decreased attention throughout the video conferencing session. The increased cognitive demands of video conferencing are the root cause of these changes that further lead to severe physiological pressure on the heart. 

When compared to face-to-face conversations, students reported feeling significantly more exhausted, lethargic, drowsy and fed up during video conferencing. Overall mood deteriorated indicating the possible psychological cost of lengthy video conferencing. 

The researchers advocate taking breaks after thirty minutes of video conferencing based on these findings, as significant changes in physiological and subjective weariness were noted after fifty minutes. This highlights the significance of comprehending the effects of continuous video conferencing on both the brain and the body. 

Here are some strategies advised by experts to promote well-being and a balanced approach to virtual meetings in reaction to the study findings:

  1. Regular Intervals

Always include breaks in virtual meetings to relieve cognitive strain and tiredness.

  1. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is designed to prevent eye strain which means taking 20 second break every 20 minutes to stare at anything 20 feet away. 

  1. Well-Optimised Background

Ensure the workspace or virtual meeting space you are in is ergonomically constructed for comfort during virtual encounters. If you are a work-from-home person, we recommend visiting a comforting cafe or booking a coworking space

  1. Incorporate Mindfulness

Practise mindfulness methods to help you manage stress and connection during virtual encounters. 

  1. Adopt a Hybrid Communication Model

Blend virtual and in-person encounters to give a variety and lessen reliance on video conferencing alone. 

  1. Set Realistic Meeting Times

Limit the length of virtual meetings to avoid excessive screen time, creating a better balance. 

  1. Spread Education and Awareness

Organisations should provide training and raise awareness about the health risks of excessive video conferencing and employees should follow it too. 

Implementing these principles can help you create a more healthy and long-lasting virtual communication environment. As the reliance on video conferences grows, prioritising individual well-being and taking a thoughtful approach becomes increasingly important for preserving overall mental and physical health with productivity. 

Health shall always be a priority!
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Siddhesh Surve

With a background in Journalism, Siddhesh aims to educate readers on tech news in India. Covering national and global events, he wants his readers to be aware of what’s new in tech today!