‘Zoom Fatigue’ Exists — and Here’s How to Combat It

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From religious services to virtual courtrooms, business meetings, birthdays, and online learning, Zoom has become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re gonna have to get used to it,” said Dr. Michael McDermott, Chief Medical Executive at Miami Neuroscience Institute. “We’re gonna have to figure out how to deal with it.”

McDermott says the new way of interacting with others is creating what some call “Zoom exhaustion” or “Zoom fatigue.”

“Fatigue associated with sitting in one place for extended periods of time multiple times a day,” McDermott said.

McDermott says hours of video conferencing or back-to-back virtual meetings can cause mental exhaustion.

He says the brain takes up about 20 percent of a person’s physical energy, causing feelings of tiredness even if you’re just sitting and looking at a screen.

“You feel physically drained,” McDermott said.

Experts say the gallery view, where everyone in the meeting appears on screen, causes the brain to multitask and can be overwhelming.

“It’s difficult for people who are used to interacting face-to-face with other individuals, other professionals,” he said.

McDermott suggests taking breaks.

“We can’t do this 8 hours a day, 5 days a week,” he said.

McDermott says businesses should cut down on their number of virtual meetings and how long they last.

“I think we need to put a limit on the number of meetings we can do per day,” he said.

McDermott says the small changes can make a big difference as businesses and employees try to navigate through new, unchartered territory.

“This is gonna become the new norm,” he said.


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