According to a new research published in JMIR Mental Health, digital games, especially those played on smartphones, could relieve daily stress more effectively than mindfulness apps.
The two-part study was conducted by researchers at the University College London and the University of Bath. In the first part, test participants were administered a maths test to induce a sense of work strain and later asked to either play a shape-fitting digital game, use a mindfulness app or use a fidget-spinner toy. In the second part, participants were asked to either play the shape-fitting game or use the mindfulness app for five consecutive days after they came home from work.
In the first part of the study, individuals who played the shape-fitting game reported higher levels of energy and less tiredness after the activity. Conversely, participants from the mindfulness and fidget-spinner groups reported a drop in their level of 'energetic arousal'. Findings from the second part of the study showed that those who played the shape-fitting game post-work reported feeling more relaxed by the end of the week versus those using the mindfulness app.
Dr Emily Collins, the lead author of the study, said: "To protect our long-term health and well-being, we need to be able to unwind and recuperate after work. Our study suggests playing digital games can be an effective way to do this."