Skip to content
    April 29, 2021

    May 2021 Corporate Newsletter


    Contributed by Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT

    COVID forced many companies to close their physical doors and turn to virtual office spaces. After a year of telecommuting, one of the biggest phenomena of working from home due to COVID is “Zoom Fatigue.” Spending too much time on video conferencing programs has turned out to be exhausting in ways we never imagined. A year ago, Zoom parties and holidays were new and exciting. Now the last thing anyone wants to do after a long workday is spend more time on Zoom for social purposes.

    In February 2021, Stanford University released research on the impact video conferencing software such as Zoom has had on individuals during the pandemic. There were four main causes identified, and proposed solutions for each.


    Close-up Eye Contact is Exhausting

    The amount of daily intense eye contact has increased significantly from typical in-person interactions. If you were in an in-person meeting, your eye gaze may shift around the room and to other visuals. In addition, faces on camera appear much larger and closer than in real life, which causes your brain to think you’re having long, intimate conversations all day long and causes your brain to be in a hyper-aroused state.

    THE SOLUTION: Personal Space still exists, even virtually. Sit back from the screen to allow more space, and minimize view to grid view to reduce facial sizes. Using an external keyboard can create additional space between you and the screen.


    Watching Yourself is Exhausting

    Imagine staring at yourself nonstop in a mirror for eight hours. It’s not natural to look at yourself all day long, but having a camera on us all the time has changed that. Before COVID, we would potentially look in the mirror a few times throughout the day. And now we are staring at ourselves all day long. The the more we see ourselves on camera, the more critical we become, leading to negative emotional consequences.

    THE SOLUTION: Turn off the view of yourself so you don’t stare at yourself all day long. But first check your lighting and set-up is good so you are presentable for others.


    Sitting Immobile is Exhausting

    The #1 complaint we have heard from clients one year into the pandemic has been the lack of movement. All the daily movement we had in our days, from commuting to and from the office, walking around the office, and even going to meetings or chatting with a colleague, was taken away from us. Now there are less reasons to move in the day. Zoom is forcing people to sit immobile for hours. Research suggests that when people move around in their day, they think better.

    THE SOLUTION: Be intentional with your movement in your day. Make an effort to stand every 30 minutes. Give yourself flexibility to move around – use earbuds or headsets. Take stretch breaks and stand. Consider creating a makeshift standing desk set to allow the flexibility to stand while working.


    Video Chatting is Cognitively Exhausting

    Your brain has to work harder to send and receive messages through a screen. Plus being constantly “on” can be exhausting for you both physically and mentally.

    THE SOLUTION: When appropriate, turn your camera off for breaks and turn away from the screen. Proactively take breaks and opportunities to walk away from the screen, clear your mind, and reset yourself. Take a few deep breaths in your day and close your eyes. Practice the 20-20-20 Rule to give your eyes and brain a rest: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet way for 20 seconds. 



    Give your eyes a rest by performing these eye exercises a few times throughout the day. 





    Mandy Enright MS, RDN, RYT, is a Registered Dietitian, Yoga Instructor, and Corporate Wellness Expert, as well as main content contributor for Wellness Concepts. Mandy is a featured presenter, both virtually and onsite near her home in Neptune, NJ.


    Related Blog Posts

    View All Blog Posts