ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Franšais | Espa˝ol

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)66624
CIS number 96-722
ISSN - Serial title 0169-8141 - International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Year 1994
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Henning R.A., Kissel G.V., Maynard D.C.
Title Compensatory rest breaks for VDT operators
Bibliographic information Oct. 1994, Vol.14, No.5, p.243-249, 19 ref.
Abstract Discomfort associated with continuous visual display terminal (VDT) use can be moderated by short rest breaks at 10 or 15-min intervals. This laboratory study evaluated an alternative break administration system in which operators only received short breaks when their spontaneous rest pauses were inadequate. Typists (n=38) were assigned to one of two conditions, regimented (20sec breaks every 5min) or compensatory (20sec breaks every 5min if spontaneous pauses totalled less than 17sec), during a 48-min period. Although the number and length of computer-administered breaks decreased in the compensatory condition, no differences in work performance, operator mood, or acceptance of the break system were found. However, back discomfort was lower in the compensatory condition. These findings suggest that a compensatory rest break system can eliminate unnecessary task interruptions and be as effective as a regimented break schedule in ensuring that operators do not perform computer work continuously.
Descriptors (primary) physical performance; computer terminals; office work; ergonomics; visual display terminals
Descriptors (secondary) computer-assisted control; threshold of discomfort; experimental determination; ergonomic evaluation; perceptual-motor performance tests
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceUSA
Subject(s) Ergonomics and work organization
Broad subject area(s) New technologies
Browse category(ies) Office work
Visual display terminals (VDTs)