How To Mitigate The Harmful Effects Of Zoom Burnout

from Forbes

During the pandemic, the amount of screen time for many people working and learning from home as well as binge-watching TV has sharply increased. And prolonged screen time is leaving a series of maladies in its wake. Researchers at Arizona State University published a study showing that heavy screen users—defined as those who use screens an average of 17.5 hours per day—reported the least healthful dietary patterns and the poorest health-related characteristics compared with moderate and light users, who averaged roughly 11.3 and 7 hours of screen use per day, respectively.

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  1. This article describes a very prominent problem in our current world. The usage of Zoom and similar digital platforms has become more and more common that many of us are forgetting what our typical days at work used to look like. We are learning to become more productive and efficient over these virtual collaboration spaces. Companies are realizing how many jobs can be completed simply from the comfort of an employee’s home. However, with all this development comes a significant downfall—the popularity of ‘Zoom Burnout.’ The overall feeling of mental exhaustion and physical fatigue day in and day out after spending countless hours staring at a screen is what defines this ‘burnout.’ Before reading this article, I was not aware of how burnt out I have been feeling at the end of a long day of classes and work. Compared to the pre-COVID days of walking to different classes around campus and having a busier schedule, I am feeling more exhaustion after merely sitting at a desk all day. This article explains why this is so. In these days of only having our work to focus on, it is so easy for stress to go unmanaged. There is no beneficial distraction to get our mind off the pressing thoughts of deadlines or important meetings. Zoom is the new office, and there is no way we are escaping this reality anytime soon.

    The suggestions offered by this article to combat the growing ‘Zoom Burnout’ are very helpful. One of the main ones being the usage of blue-light glasses. Personally, I bought my own pair of blue-light glasses months before the start of the pandemic. However, I am so grateful to have them in this time of staring at many screens for the majority of the day. If I am without them for about an hour, I already feel the headache and tired eyes associated with the blue light emissions. Another tip I found interesting from this article was the Thrive Reset Zapp, which allows participants of a Zoom meeting to take a brief 60 second mental break from the tasks at hand. These short breaks allow for an entire mindset reset, which provides a surprising amount of benefits. Hopefully, as the work-from-home trend continues, programs similar to the Thrive application will be implemented across all major virtual meeting spaces. As we continue to live in this stressful world, it is important to take those short mental breaks from our personal and professional lives to reset and continue producing our best work.

  2. The onset of COVID-19 has ushered in many schools and work-related restrictions. As more and more people are required to work remotely, computer usage has boomed. Prolonged screen time can cause sudden illnesses and create bad habits to arise. According to a study by researchers at Arizona State University, people who use technology on an average of 17.5 hours per day have reported unhealthy diet patterns. In comparison, moderate to light users’ consumer about 11.3 hours of screen time per day. In addition, heavy screen users can experience extreme mood changes, sleep deprivation, withdrawal, and mental alertness. Prolonged screen use has been reported to cause screen apnea in which the user holds their breathe or breathes shallowly when working on computer technology. This can lead to stress related purposes and hamper work productivity. Moreover (CVS) Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for uninterrupted periods of time. In turn, the eye muscles are unable to recover from constant tension required to maintain focus on a close computer screen. As screen time increases, eye strain is amplified, causing redness and blurred vision due to excess screen exposure. Likewise, zoom fatigue has become more prevalent as more people work remotely. Zoom burnout causes lack of energy as well as a lack of focus. This can affect ones mental and physical health and have negative consequences on their overall success. Mindful practices to mitigate zoom burnout includes blue light glasses, time in nature, the 20-20-20 rule, and open awareness. Blue light glasses are effective due to the fact that modern screens today emit blue light which can disrupt sleep patterns. These glasses assist in filtering out blue light. Next, “less screen time and more green time”, to promote increased mental health and cognitive function. Also, the 20-20-20 rule is used by allowing 20-minute screen breaks after 20 minutes of screen time. During breaks, walk around, hydrate, and look at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. Finally, practice open awareness to what is around you and be mindful of your surroundings to prevent virtual fatigue.

  3. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic I have spent a lot of my time looking at screens. More so during the months when I have school because of the classes and homework that are completely online. With class and homework I am currently looking at screens for hours at a time. I always seem to find myself tired of staring at my computer, but I need to to get my work done. It is annoying having to do everything online because of the constant time on the computer so I like to find time where I don’t have to look at a screen to be entertained. One thing that I have liked doing to get outside and getting away from my screens is running. I had always hated running, but it turned into a break from schoolwork and a way for me to get out of my room after sitting at my desk all day. I first started doing it to lose weight and to get in shape, but over time I actually really started to enjoy running and look forward to each one. It became a part of how I would entertain myself, but also a way to hit the reset button and clear my head. Afterwards I would feel relaxed and ready to get back to work without feeling like I had been staring at a screen for too long. It was also a good way to get some fresh air in a time where I’m not going to many places. I’ve started to do it more and more because I enjoy it and it is a good way to stay in shape. It is always good to get a break from the various screens that I’m staring at all day.

  4. The issue with our current time is that all our business is done through a computer screen. Class, work, talking to friends, and more. Normal days of working and schooling are becoming a thing of the past. We are becoming more and more used to this online setting for our daily activities, and thus we may also be reaching a boiling point. Of course, when all of this is being drilled in every day we do indeed reach a point where we do get burnt out of it all, and thus “Zoom Burnout” arises. As someone who spends hours upon hours editing in front of a computer, having to be in front of a camera for even more time is extremely tiring. The fatigue I feel from being situated in front of a desk for the better part of my day is a lot to deal with, and not only that but the headache that also coincides it. As the article pushes, working on just work all day leads to more stress and anxiety. My own house has become associated with the pressure of work and school, and thus leads to be being stressed out in general in the area. The ideas suggested may help, but for many people the entire problem is the lack of going outside for them.

  5. When I began reading this article I was immediately struck with the disgusting truth of how much screen time is considered “light” being 7 hours a day. It is so scary that we are essentially being forced to look at these screens all day to complete our daily tasks, and the negative side effects are very real and need to be mitigated. I have been subject to massive amounts of screen time prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the conceptualization of Zoom Burnout because I am a gamer. Back in the times when I used to play a lot, I would sometimes have a 12+ hour gaming session on a Saturday. Over the Summer it could be any day that might be my next 12 hour session. Me and all of my friends had Gunnar Glasses and these were made to reduce eye strain and they definitely worked! But some of the other topics/ potential Zoom burnout coping mechanisms mentioned in this article were a much healthier addition to ways you could keep your eyes in good condition. I can definitely agree with the fact that being in nature for a little while can help you decompress. I always go to the beach whenever I feel like I want to reflect on the various happenings in my life. You can listen to the crashing waves and the rustling of the dunes and just forget about however you were feeling prior. The 20-20-20 rule also seems like it would be beneficial because whenever you take even a little break from looking at a screen you can come back feeling refreshed after you blink a few extra times to hydrate your eyes and give them a rest from blue light. Open awareness mindfulness also seems very interesting as I find it to be something I do already. If I am stressed I like to take little breaks and put on some calming music or take a look out the window for a little and see what’s going on outside. It definitely clears my mind out, as those few seconds where you forget how stressed you are about the various due dates you have been assigned can be so beneficial for your work stamina. The idea for an app to keep people working to their potential by giving them little tips on how to keep their day going strong is very clever too. I can relate to this because in various games I play, on the loading screens their will be little tips and tricks on how to improve your gameplay and some of them can be very beneficial.

  6. The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is to be teaching his or her class remotely and on digital platforms. many people are saying that online learning has been shown to increase the growth of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused might be here to stay. However there are pros and cons to this remote learning. Pros are we are trying to stop the spread of Covid, and learn at the same time, but the cons are, not everyone can learn from the internet aspect. for example me I learn better in the classroom, like live learning and all, it different when the teacher is saying it all an you just have to jot notes or something, so it ma affect kids grades, which can affect or be the difference between scholarships and what schools you want to get in based on what grade you are in. There are, however challenges to overcome, some students without reliable internet access and/or technology struggle to participate in digital learning and can be hard for them to turn in homework assignments or participate in class. Not everyone is financially stable to afford all these things, and us as teenagers cant afford to not have an education and that goes for all the kids around the world. With this sudden move of not being in the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to last after the pandemic, and how such a move would impact the worldwide education market, and that goes for the athletes as well. we have so many student athletes trying to get scholarships and trying to work hard and play for their high school teams, and have coaches come scout them, but because of this whole pandemic, it put a stop to all of this.

  7. Let us take some time to consider that we all have had to find a way to adjust to the changing environmental crisis of today. Due to the pandemic, many businesses and institution have made the inevitable shift from traditional offices to teleworking or work from home. One of the most popular platforms that many employers and employees are taking advantage of is Zoom. According to the article, zoom has over 300 million users daily and that is on the work front. In addition to this school and even doctor’s appointments have become virtual and use zoom.
    Now, although zoom has been very helpful and useful during these unprecedented times, there are negative effect which are exacerbated by increased social media and television screen time due to the mandatory stay at home orders and quarantine measures. This leads to various side effects such as screen apnea, computer vision syndrome and a new phenomenon known as zoom fatigue and burnout. To combat these issues, the company Zapp is partnering with Zoom to mitigate the harmful effects of our new normal, and in the same token increase productivity and promote healthy habits within the “new” workplace.
    In the words of Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of thrive global who are the creators of Zapp Reset, “we need to create new rituals and practices within Zoom Meetings to prevent virtual fatigue.” Zapp Reset is the newest innovation meant to address zoom fatigue. It is a behavior change platform which is meant to help employees reduce stress and build mental resilience through a combination of science, storytelling and actionable Micro steps designed to improve their well-being and performance. There are also other small steps and actions that people can take advantage of to curb zoom or screen time fatigue. The simple steps include the use of blue light glasses; to filter the blue light emitted by phone and computer screens, increasing time in nature, practicing open awareness mindfulness (i.e. Meditation) and the 20-20-20 rule which I found to be most interesting. The rule states that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you take a 20 second break, move around and look at something 20 feet away, which relaxes the eye muscles for 20 seconds. This gives your brain a much-needed break and allows you to recenter yourself which in turn improves your productivity and greatly helps with computer vision syndrome and screen apnea. I believe that it is the responsibility of all the institutions that utilize zoom, to find ways to mitigate these negative effects and create a conducive environment for their employees, students etc. to thrive in this new workplace dynamic we find ourselves in now.

  8. To briefly summarize, this article explains the effects of using a screen for most of the day and how you can minimalize the harmful consequences, especially during the pandemic. During my senior year of high school, we’ve held classes on zoom for the whole year. Throughout the year, I have had terrible migraines, extreme exhaustion, little to no motivation, etc. So it’s safe to say being in front of a screen for 10 hours a day negatively affected my health. In terms of zoom burnout, I anticipate that numerous amount of students have suffered similar effects from being in front of a screen the whole day. Not only having zoom burnout, but they probably either developed or worsened their mental health problems, from anxiety to depression. Being in front of a screen can do way more harm than good, so finding tactics to help minimalize the effects are crucial.
    The article lists ways to help fight against the consequences of being in front of a scream every day. For example, the list is getting blue-light glasses, time in nature, the 20-20-20 rule, and open awareness mindfulness. In my opinion, time in nature is the most effective way since you’re not inside. Instead, you’re able to enjoy the environment. Just taking a walk around the neighborhood can help you to clear your mind and connect with the outside. Personally, sitting on the porch and enjoying the scenery is peaceful and can allow me to clear my mind. Open awareness mindfulness or meditation is also a very effective way to help you minimalize the consequences as well. This will enable you to become more conscious of your surroundings and allows you to stay focus on your work. Mediating for 10 minutes or an hour can have lasting effects on your position and surroundings. Although I have not tried the blue-light glasses or the 20-20-20 rule, they might be effective but not as effective. The 20-20-20 rule seems interesting to me, so I’ll want to give it a try in the future. To conclude, being in front of a screen can have terrible consequences, so you will need tactics to help minimalize the effects.

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