Microsoft Research

Using Interactivity to Enhance
Ergonomic Typing Breaks


Dan Morris

Microsoft Research

A.J. Bernheim Brush

Microsoft Research

Brian Meyers

Microsoft Research

Repetitive strain injuries and ergonomics concerns have become increasingly significant health issues as a growing number of individuals frequently use computers for long periods of time. Currently, limited software mechanisms exist for managing ergonomics; the most well-known are "break-reminder" packages that schedule and recommend typing breaks. Yet despite the proven benefits of taking breaks, such packages are rarely adopted due to the over-head of introducing periodic interruptions into a user.s workflow. In this paper, we describe SuperBreak, a break-reminder package that provides hands-free interactions during breaks, with the goal of encouraging users to take more breaks and enhancing the benefits of those breaks. In a field study of 26 knowledge workers, 85% preferred SuperBreak over a traditional break-reminder system, and on average participants took a higher percentage of the interactive breaks suggested to them. Our results highlight the value of interactivity for improving the adoption and retention of ergonomic break practices.

Our CHI 2008 paper: [ pdf ]

Our CHI 2008 video: [ .mov, 20MB ]  [ .wmv, 20MB ]

Download page (MS internal only for now): [ downloads ]

Morris D, Brush A.J., Meyers B. SuperBreak: Using Interactivity to Enhance Ergonomic Typing Breaks. Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008.

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