Boredom – It really is a killer!

The boredom of this Moscow street seller could be very bad for her health [Credit: Wikipedia]

The boredom of this Moscow street seller could be very bad for her health [Credit: Wikipedia]

Boredom in work, or at home, is quite literally a killer, according to a growing body of evidence linking it with serious health effects.

The science of boredom is proving very interesting indeed to many researchers around the world, including at least one here in Ireland.

Dr Wijnand van Tilburg, a psychology lecturer in the University of Limerick is interested in how boredom affects aggression and memory.

There are serious consequences for people’s health if they are bored, with studies linking boredom to a greater vulnerability to heart disease, depression, overeating, alcohol and drug abuse, and gambling.

The definition of boredom is different to different people, but it is widely induced in people that must do repetitive tasks, and suffer time delays, such as tedious factory work, or waiting at an airport for a long delayed airplane.

Researchers set up boredom experiments, but inducing the condition in subjects – typically university students. One team showed students a video of people hanging laundry washing, and this worked very well.

Given the range of ill health effect caused by boredom it is important to avoid it as much as possible. This might involve seeing the big picture of boring tasks, and linking them to a great good, or achievement, such as a teacher that is bored correcting homework, but sees it as good for pupils.

It is also possible to reduce boredom by taking exercise, such as walking or going for a job. It is important too, to try, when possible, to work in a job that its well suited to a person’s interests and abilities.

Click below to hear more:

Science of Boredom: Discussed on the Morning Show with Declan Meehan on East Coast FM. [Broadcast 14th March 2013]

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