Surprisingly enough, we're all getting pretty tired of video conferencing

Skype video conferencing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Video conferencing fatigue (VCF) is a common feeling across the world, especially for those in remote or hybrid working setups, but a new scientific study reveals the true effects of spending too long on video calls.

Researchers from Austrian universities have evidence showing the effects of using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and the likes, on electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography (ECG), heart rate, and heart rate variability.

Moreover, the October 2023 study reveals that the physiological effects of video conferencing on the human body are not to be dismissed and that employers and academic institutes should re-assess their reliance upon the tools.

Video conferencing fatigue is very real

Brain signal frequency was measured using EEG, and a distinct rise was seen in higher-level frequencies typically associated with concentration, attention, and stress compared with in-person encounters.

The study also revealed changes to heart rate variability that show ongoing signs of fatigue throughout the course of an online lecture or call.

While the researchers noted that its study revolved around a lecture, not a call, and that the study was carried out in a university campus, not off-site - with participants with an average age of 24, this early study has highlighted that communicating face-to-face versus from behind a screen can have a significant impact on the human body.

While it’s clear that more research is needed, the study’s authors conclude: “our results suggest that use of videoconferencing may lead to cognitive costs, which must not be ignored by individuals and organizations.”

Making note of the expected 10% annual increase in the video conferencing market between now and 2032, the researchers suggest a closer look at the split between in-person and online, rather than the total abstinence of video conferencing.

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!