The Effect of Micro-Breaks on Intellectual Concentration Work: An Individual's Characteristics Measurement
Authors: Orchida Dianita, Kakeru Kitayama, Kimi Ueda, Hirotake Ishii, Hiroshi Shimoda, Fumiaki Obayashi
Abstract: Micro-breaks are very short time breaks such as several tens of seconds during intellectual work and they are expected to be effective to recover intellectual concentration. A controlled laboratory experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the micro-breaks focusing on individual characteristics. Thirty-one participants were recruited in this study performing cognitive comparison tasks for 25 minutes on a tablet PC under two conditions, which are micro-break intervention condition and no micro-break intervention condition. Quantitative answering times were analyzed to find the individual's performance characteristic concerning the micro-breaks intervention. Five patterns grouping of performance variations were determined utilizing the moving average and locally-weighted scatterplot smoother data. The result shows that 42% of the total participants resulted that micro-breaks condition outperformed the condition without micro-breaks during all the task periods incorporated in the first pattern group. The second pattern group does not show the eminence of micro-breaks towards 10% of total participants. In the third pattern group, the superiority of the micro-breaks appears after a certain time and not from the beginning of the task shown by 26% of participants' data. The degradation of the micro-break effectiveness is shown in a fourth pattern group for 19% of the sample group. In the last pattern group, both the superiority and deterioration of the micro-break are found in 3% of the data. The results demonstrate each individual's characteristic in responding to the micro-breaks intervention during cognitive task presented in the five patterns group. The majority of the participants benefited from the micro-breaks indicated by more stable and faster performance compared to the no micro-breaks condition.
Keywords: Micro-breaks, Intellectual Concentration, Individual's Characteristic
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