Give your data entry workers a break. Better yet, give them four breaks of five minutes each, plus their regular breaks. You’ll still come out ahead, according to a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Researchers found that the short breaks resulted in workers experiencing less discomfort and eyestrain, and their productivity also increased.
Fifty-one workers were followed for eight weeks. For the first half of the study they were given two traditional breaks of 15 minutes each, but during the second half those two breaks were supplemented by four additional five-minute breaks. Here’s what researchers found:
Data-entry speed was significantly faster with supplementary breaks, so there was no loss of productivity during the workday. Workers said they experienced less discomfort and eyestrain as a result of the supplementary breaks.
NIOSH Director John Howard says the new study demonstrates that “rest breaks can have a double benefit of reducing the risk of occupational (repetitive stress) injury while helping businesses maintain productivity.”