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CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)78110
CIS number 02-261
ISSN - Serial title 0003-6870 - Applied Ergonomics
Year 2001
Convention or series no.
Author(s) McLean L., Tingley M., Scott R.N., Rickards J.
Title Computer terminal work and the benefit of microbreaks
Bibliographic information June 2001, Vol.32, No.3, p.225-237. Illus. 35 ref.
Abstract Microbreaks are scheduled rest breaks taken to prevent the onset or progression of cumulative trauma disorders in the computerized workstation environment. The benefit of microbreaks by investigating myoelectric signal (MES) behaviour, perceived discomfort, and worker productivity while individuals performed their usual keying work were examined. Participants (all women) provided data from working sessions where they took no breaks, and from working sessions where they took microbreaks at their own discretion (control), microbreaks at 20min intervals, and microbreaks at 40min intervals. Four main muscle areas were studied: the cervical extensors, the lumbar erector spinae, the upper trapezius/supraspinatus, and the wrist and finger extensors. It was determined that microbreaks had a positive effect on reducing discomfort in all areas studied during computer terminal work, particularly when breaks were taken at 20min intervals. Microbreaks showed no evidence of a detrimental effect on worker productivity.
Descriptors (primary) visual display terminals; upper extremity disorders; keyboard operations; workbreaks
Descriptors (secondary) work efficiency; repetitive strain injury; ergonomic evaluation; electromyography
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceCanada
Subject(s) Ergonomics and work organization
Broad subject area(s) New technologies
Browse category(ies) Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Office work
Visual display terminals (VDTs)