LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – If spending hours on video calls for school or work has you feeling a bit tired, you may be suffering from “Zoom fatigue.” But researchers say there are ways to get out of that virtual funk.
Kristen Wymer is a mom, health care professional and doctoral student who has been working from home for more than a year, spending eight to 12 hours a day in video conferences. She says all that time on screens is giving her migraines, back pain and too much awareness of herself.READ MORE: CHP Motorcycle Officer Involved In Traffic Collision On Eastbound 105 Freeway At Bellflower Boulevard
“I hate seeing myself on camera,” she tells CBS News correspondent Naomi Ruchim. “I think as women in general we tend to be a little bit harsher on our outwardly appearance.”
Researchers at Stanford University found four main causes for “Zoom fatigue”:
- Excessive close-up eye contact
- Less ability to move around during long calls
- Being forced to interpret non-verbal cues during video chats
- Seeing yourself on screen for hours
Another another recent Stanford study confirms women suffer from significantly higher rates of “Zoom fatigue” due to “mirror anxiety,” a physiological response where a person’s reflection triggers negative feelings.
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In the first large-scale study examining the full extent of Zoom fatigue, Stanford researchers find that women report feeling more exhausted than men following video calls – and the “self-view” display may be to blame. https://t.co/szodAIlnUG
— Stanford University (@Stanford) April 13, 2021
Among 10,322 participants, 13.8 percent of women reported feeling either very or extremely fatigued after video meetings, compared with roughly 5.5 percent of men.
“If someone was following you around your place of work with a mirror that would make no sense at all. Yet, for video conferences, we’re showing our real-time image constantly,” says Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL).
“This is draining, and it causes us to get stressed and have negative effect over time,” he adds.
Dr. Bailenson recommends hiding your screen on a video conference so the focus is on the person talking, not you. And remember, not every call needs to be on camera.
Wymer says she’s spending more time with her family to get away from screens.
“We take a drive and just wander out in the country and see the sunset,” she says. “For us, that’s been helpful to have that kind of different family time.”MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed By Huntington Police Saturday As Nearby Crowds Watched U.S. Open Of Surfing
Stanford researchers have developed an online survey where you can score your level of “Zoom fatigue.” The free questionnaire will tell you how you stack up to your peers in terms of the emotional and physical impact of constant video calls.