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Ergonomics. 2001 Feb 10;44(2):164-74.

Impact of added rest breaks on the productivity and well being of workers.

Author information

1
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA. awwad@ti.com

Abstract

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.

PMID:
11209875
DOI:
10.1080/00140130121538
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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