Micro-refresh to Restore Intellectual Concentration Decline during Office Work: An Attempt at Quantitative Effect Evaluation
Authors: Kakeru Kitayama, Orchida Dianita, Kimi Ueda, Hirotake Ishii, Hiroshi Shimoda, Fumiaki Obayashi
Abstract: There have been many studies on improving intellectual concentration. Concentration on intellectual work tends to decrease over time, and this needs to be prevented to improve intellectual concentration. In conventional office work, for example, a 10-minute break was taken every hour, but in this case, concentration drops by the next break. Therefore, there is a possibility of suppressing the decline in intellectual concentration by interspersing short breaks of a few seconds to a few tens of seconds in a shorter cycle than this. In this study, we named this break "micro-refresh" and aimed to show its effect on improving intellectual concentration by experiments, and then to study the environmental control method to present it appropriately in the actual working environment. The "micro-refresh" in this study differs from the conventional "microbreak" in that it effectively encourages office workers to refresh themselves in a short period of time. In other words, this research aims to actively encourage office workers to refresh themselves through some kind of action, such as controlling the indoor environment.Therefore, as a basis for this study, it was firstly confirmed that the effect of micro-refresh can be measured quantitatively. Short breaks of a few seconds to tens of seconds were forcibly given to the office workers during the cognitive task, and the difference in intellectual concentration was confirmed using objective indicators. In addition, the difference in subjective perception of fatigue and workload was also confirmed by several questionnaires.In this experiment, a comparison problem developed by Ueda et al1). was used as a cognitive task. As a simulated micro-refresh, a system, in which the screen changes to gray when an arbitrary time elapses and the answer to the problem being solved at that time is completed, was implemented. The interval between the screen changing was set to 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and the time until the changed screen returned to normal was set to 20 seconds. Participants performed a 25-minute cognitive task with and without the simulated micro-refresh. Their intellectual concentration was measured as an index, “CTR (Concentration Time Ratio)”, which expresses concentration time ratio among total working time and was calculated from response time data of the cognitive task. In addition, this experiment measured participants’ fatigue and workload through several questionnaires; (1) Progress questionnaire asking about subjective level of concentration and fatigue (2) NASA-TLX asking about workload (3) Subjective symptom screening capturing changes in fatigue status over time.At this point, the experiment is not yet completed, but it will be completed by the time the full paper is submitted. From the data obtained, it will be shown that the response time data, CTR, and participants’ fatigue and workload are able to be measured and it will be discussed that whether simulated micro-break prevent CTR from decreasing or reduce participants’ fatigue and workload.1) Kimi Ueda, Hiroshi Shimoda, Hirotake Ishii, Fumiaki Obayashi, Kazuhiro Taniguchi: Development of a New Cognitive Task to Measure Intellectual Concentration Affected by Room Environment, The Fifth International Conference on Human-Environment System, 2016.
Keywords: Intellectual concentration, Intellectual concentration, Office environment
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