Many health professionals are reporting that Zoom fatigue can cause impactful physical symptoms. In addition to physical fatigue, people have been experiencing headaches, eye-strain, neck pain, back pain and more. Laura Dudley, a behavior analyst at Northwestern University found that working remotely is “harder” and “more exhausting” than in-person work, affecting mental health.
Zoom fatigue stems from how we are processing information over online calls. On a video call, one of the only ways you show that you are paying attention is by looking at your screen and camera. In person, we can use our peripheral vision to see the things going on around us and communicate with another person.
Emelia Arone is a senior at Wayzata High School. Her schedule consists of four classes, each an hour and fifteen minutes long. Most of the day she is on Zoom, taking part in each class remotely. She has experienced some physical symptoms from remote learning, such as nausea; and mentions how mentally draining it can be, but sees positive outcomes.
“It’s definitely harder to stay focused, but it’s a good teaching tool on how to stay accountable and how to stay on task,” Arnone said.
Video chatting makes our brains work much harder. As we are constantly on camera, we are extra aware of being watched and this adds extra stress for people. It is also hard to separate work from your personal life. It can be difficult if your workspace is the same as where your family time would be.
Because of the situation we are in right now, with most classes and work online, mental health has been impacted, especially for students.
“It has been a rollercoaster of emotions with the situation for many students. The information about the pandemic is constantly changing. We start to feel comfortable, and then our world gets turned upside down by the new information given,” Orono High School Social worker Jane Leeper said.
Because of remote learning, Zoom fatigue has become a bigger, more noticeable issue. By learning about the symptoms, causes and ways of prevention, you can help protect yourself from feeling these effects.