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A field study of supplementary rest breaks for data-entry operators.

Authors
Galinsky-TL; Swanson-NG; Sauter-SL; Hurrell-JJ; Schleifer-LM
Source
Ergonomics 2000 May; 43(5):622-638
NIOSHTIC No.
20020675
Abstract
This study examined the effects of supplementary rest breaks on musculoskeletal discomfort, eyestrain, mood, and performance in data-entry workers. Two rest break schedules were compared in a within-subjects design. Workers alternated between a 'conventional' and a 'supplementary' schedule in 4-week intervals. The conventional schedule contained a 15-min break during the first half of the work shift and a 15-min break during the second half of the shift. The supplementary schedule contained the same two 15-min breaks, and a 5-min break during each hour which otherwise did not contain a break, for a total of 20 extra minutes of break time. Results are based on data from 42 workers. They indicated that discomfort in several areas of the body, and eyestrain, were significantly lower under the supplementary than under the conventional schedule. While symptoms increased from pre- to post-work periods under both schedules, the magnitude of the increases was significantly less under the supplementary schedule. In addition, increases in discomfort of the right forearm, wrist and hand over the course of the work week under the conventional schedule were eliminated under the supplementary schedule. These beneficial effects were obtained without reductions in data-entry performance.
Keywords
Rest-periods; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Eye-strain; Workers; Work-performance; Data-processing
CODEN
ERGOAX
Publication Date
20000501
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
tlg0@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0014-0139
NIOSH Division
DART
Source Name
Ergonomics
State
OH
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