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Digital Games on Smartphones Better Stress Reliever Than Fidget-spinner

As games keep one busy in chasing targets other than the real life challenges, it definitely keeps one away from the daily life problems, stress and other mental tensions, said K.M. Hassan, Associate Director, Neurosciences at Jaypee Hospital in Noida

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Launched in 2017, the main version of the controversial game has already crossed the 100-million-download mark on Google Play Store. Wikimedia Commons

By Bharat Upadhyay

Digital games, like those on smartphones, may help in relieving stress after a day’s work more effectively than a fidget-spinner toy, a new study suggests.

“Far from feeling guilty about being absorbed by their phone, people who play such games after a stressful day at work should know they are likely to be gaining a real benefit,” said Anna Cox, Professor at the University of Bath in UK.

In the study published in JMIR Mental Health, 45 participants aged between 19 and 36 were given a 15-minute maths test and then asked to either play a shape-fitting game or use a mindfulness app. Those in the control group were given a fidget-spinner toy.

Those who played the shape-fitting game reported feeling more energised and less tired afterwards, while those in the mindfulness and fidget-spinner groups reported the opposite – their level of “energetic arousal” appeared to decline.

In the second part of the study, participants who played a shape-fitting game after arriving home from work for five days reported feeling more relaxed by the end of the week than those who were asked to use a mindfulness app.

“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,” said study lead author Emily Collins from University of Bath.

The authors noted that digital games appear to fulfil four criteria necessary for post-work recovery — they tend to be relaxing, they provide opportunities for mastering a new skill, they are highly immersive and distracting and they allow people to feel in control.

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Representational image. Pixabay

According to Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital in Delhi, different people have different interests, coping styles and preference for de-stressing. For some, it is playing digital games.

“The key here is to have a balanced lifestyle and ensure that outdoor, indoor, social engagements, sleep cycle are well balanced. If you de-stress by digital games, ensure you do not over do it and balance your time well,” Parikh told IANS.

“Digital games and mindfulness apps both function very differently and have different impacts on users. While digital games enable individuals to relax by diverting the mind temporarily, they have very high chances of getting the user addicted to them,” said Sandeep Vohra, Senior Consultant, Psychiatry, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in Delhi.

“However, mindfulness apps, whose main function is to help people relax in multiple ways, have no such side effects,” he told IANS.

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The researchers also noted that the level of enjoyment in digital games was correlated with the amount of benefit it offered in terms of post-work recovery.

As games keep one busy in chasing targets other than the real life challenges, it definitely keeps one away from the daily life problems, stress and other mental tensions, said K.M. Hassan, Associate Director, Neurosciences at Jaypee Hospital in Noida.

“Hence one can say playing video games can partially help to keep someone away from stress or anxiety while it definitely is not a permanent solution, proper treatment cannot be ignored,” he told IANS. (IANS)

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Google Brings New Feature Called ‘Focus Mode’ For Android Devices

Focus mode is available on all devices that currently have Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings, including new phones launching with Android 9 and Android 10

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Focus mode is a new Digital Wellbeing tool on Google Android, now out of beta, that helps you get things done by temporarily pausing apps so you can focus on the task at hand. Pixabay

Google has introduced a new feature ‘Focus Mode’ for Android devices designed to prevent its users from being consistently distracted by their smartphone.

The feature allows users to turn off distractions – like social media updates or email notifications – for a period of time, so a user can get things done without interruption.

Focus mode was first announced at Google’s developer conference in the summer as part of Android Q/10.

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Google has introduced a new feature ‘Focus Mode’ for Android devices designed to prevent its users from being consistently distracted by their smartphone. Pixabay

“Focus mode is a new Digital Wellbeing tool on Android, now out of beta, that helps you get things done by temporarily pausing apps so you can focus on the task at hand. You can select apps you currently find distracting (like social media or games) and if you try to open them, Focus mode will remind you that app is paused.

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“Focus mode will also silence those apps’ notifications until you are ready to switch out of the mode,” Dayson Pais Product Manager, Android said in a statement on Wednesday.

Focus mode is available on all devices that currently have Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings, including new phones launching with Android 9 and Android 10. (IANS)