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Rest break interventions in stoop labor tasks.

Authors
Faucett-J; Meyers-J; Miles-J; Janowitz-I; Fathallah-F
Source
Appl Ergon 2007 Mar; 38(2):219-226
NIOSHTIC No.
20032351
Abstract
Hand cultivation and harvest of agricultural products constitute strenuous physical tasks. Working with labor-management ergonomics committees in agricultural settings, the UC Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center (AERC) tested an experimental rest and recovery protocol for its impact on symptoms and productivity during two types of work tasks. The experimental condition consisted of adding a 5 min rest break to every working hour in which there was no other scheduled break (e.g., lunchtime). This resulted in an additional 20 min of rest per workday. We tested the intervention in two trials: Trial one compared workers (n=66) randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group during the harvest of commercial strawberries. Trial two utilized a cross-over design (n=16 pairs of workers) to compare experimental and control conditions while workers inserted bud grafts into young 18? high citrus trees. For both trials, workers under the experimental condition reported significantly less severe symptoms than workers under control conditions. The order in which the intervention was given, however, appeared to result in variations in productivity. We conclude that the introduction of frequent, brief rest breaks may improve symptoms for workers engaged in strenuous work tasks.
Keywords
Rest-periods; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Hand-injuries; Hand-protection; Ergonomics; Work-analysis; Worker-health; Workers; Agricultural-industry
Contact
Julia Faucett, P O Box 0608, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143 0608, USA
CODEN
AERGBW
Publication Date
20070301
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
578102
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-CCR-914508
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0003-6870
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
Source Name
Applied Ergonomics
State
CA
Performing Organization
University of California, Davis, CA
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