It's funny that watching a cat freak out about some water, stroke a dolphin with its paw or get into a bag can have so many of us addicted to YouTube for hours (OK days). In fact it's a little worrying that many of us would happily watch an animal baby do things than an actual human baby. Anyways, fear not that you've spent more time interacting with kitten videos this year than with your colleagues, because a study in Japan has found a number of actual real life benefits that come from baby animal photos, videos and memes.
The study entitled the 'Power of Kawaii' (FYI, kawaii means cute), which has been published in the U.S. journal Plos One, featured three different experiments conducted at Hiroshima University that all found we have higher levels of concentration after looking at photos of kittens and puppies. Take that bosses across the globe.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 132 students were divided into groups and given a range of tasks to complete (like playing the game Operation and number-based tasks) before and after being shown cute animal photos.
After cramming their eyes with crazy kittens and playful puppies, those playing Operation noticed their scores improved by 44% and those who were asked to complete sums noticed 16% more accuracy.
Obviously we should always take these kinds of studies with a pinch of salt (especially when they've been featured in the Mail Online), but knowing there might be some slight benefit to staring at a cat rolling around in a bag will still make us feel a little bit better about our lives as we approach a sold two hours of animal-related procrastination later in the day.