Impact of added rest breaks on the productivity and well being of workers.
Dababneh-AJ; Swanson-NG; Shell-RL
Ergonomics 2001 Feb; 44(2):164-174
The impact of frequent short rest breaks on the productivity and well being of a group of 30 workers in a meat-processing plant was studied. Two rest break schedules were tested, both of which provided 36 min of extra break time over the regular break schedule (30-min lunch and two 15-min breaks). In the first experimental rest break schedule, workers were given 12 3-min breaks evenly distributed over the workday (3-min break for every 27 min of work). In the second schedule, workers were given four 9-min breaks evenly distributed over the workday (9-min break every 51 min of work). Outcome measures included production rate and discomfort and stress ratings. Results showed that neither of the two experimental rest break schedules had a negative effect on production, and the 9-min break schedule improved discomfort ratings for the lower extremities. The workers in the study mostly preferred the 9-min rest break schedule, indicating that workers in general might not as readily accept fragmentation of break time into short, frequent breaks.
Rest-periods; Stress; Extremities; Work-environment; Workplace-studies; Workers; Work-intervals; Work-practices; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Meat-packing-industry; Meat-handlers; Food-processing-workers; Food-handlers