Great news if you just can't get enough of cute animal pictures and videos – research reveals that it can actually make you more productive!
Yes, you read that right. Research suggests that spending time looking at photos of fluffy animals can actually make us more productive.
Researchers at Hiroshima University showed people a series of pictures before asking them to complete something similar to the board game 'Operation', where they had to drop various body pieces into holes without touching the edges.
Some of the participants were shown pictures of a tasty snack, while others were shown photos of adult animals and a third group was shown images of baby animals.
Contrary to what people might have expected, the group of participants that consistently outperformed their peers were the ones who looked at the cute and cuddly baby animals pictures!
The scientists who conducted the study explained that the reason behind this is that humans are naturally programmed to be more alert when their nurturing instincts are stimulated.
According to science writer Simon Watt, humans are programmed this way because human babies are extremely underdeveloped at birth compared to other species.
'Human babies are born too early to be independent and so we haveevolved as a species to make nurturing them one of our priorities', he explains on the BBC. 'Caring for babies not only involves tenderness but also requires vigilance against possible threats', Simon adds.
So when our maternal or paternal side is stimulated by looking at cute photos, our nurturing instincts kick in and the performance of perceptual and motor tasks is improved.
So next time you get distracted with cute baby animal photos or videos online, you can tell your boss it's actually proven to help improve performance!
Let's see if it works...