When I was in school gum was strictly prohibited, there was absolutely zero tolerance when it came to munching on the sticky substance. This rule was obviously put in place before we found out about all the benefits gum can provide us.
For starters gum chewing has been proven to help you stay focused on task for a longer period of time. A new research study by Kate Morgan and colleagues from Cardiff University, found that gum works great for concentration in visual memory tasks.
The study took 38 participants and put them into two groups. Both completed the same 30 minute audio task involving a sequence of numbers that were to be placed into patterns. One group was given gum to chew, while the other took the test without it.
The results at first didn’t reveal what they were hoping for, the group without gum were doing a greater job with the assignment, but things started to shift.
Participants that had gum showed much better results towards the end of the half hour, almost having no change in ability from the start, while the “gumless” group showed a very significant drop off.
The author of the experiment, Kate Morgan explained: “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.”