Chewing gum does more than make your breath fresh during a stressful work day. A study on ScienceDaily.com says that it also helps you concentrate more on tasks that require prolonged attention.

Study author Kate Morgan together with her colleagues from the Cardiff University worked with 38 volunteers who were asked to complete a 30-minute audio task that involved distinguishing the patterns within a given series of numbers. They were divided into two groups: one chewed gum while the other didn't. The participants were scored depending on how accurate they were at detecting odd-even-odd number patterns.

The results showed that those who chewed gum managed to detect the patterns quicker and with fewer errors. "It's been well established by previous research that chewing gum can benefit some areas of cognition. Interestingly, participants who didn't chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end. This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time," Morgan explains.

So during those days when you have to do all those reports, don't forget to pack yourself some gum. Just try your best not to blow and pop bubbles too often in order to avoid making a mess and getting the evil eye from your boss.

(Photo by Hilde Skjølberg via Flickr Creative Commons)

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