Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Applied Ergonomics



First Page


Research Focus Area(s)

Ergonomics and Human Factors




Sustained non-neutral postures of the head/neck are related to transient neck discomfort and longer-term disorders of the neck. Periodic breaks can help but the ideal length and frequency of breaks are yet to be determined. The current study aimed to quantify the effects of three work-rest strategies on fatigue development. Participants maintained a 45-degree neck flexion posture for a total of 60 min and were provided 3 min of rest distributed in different ways throughout the experiment [LONG (one, 3-min break), MEDIUM (two, 1.5-min breaks), or SHORT (five, 36-s breaks)]. Surface electromyography data were collected from the bilateral neck extensors and trapezius. Subjective discomfort/fatigue ratings were also gathered. Results of the analysis of the EMG data revealed that the SHORT condition did not show increased EMG activity, while LONG [21%] and MEDIUM [10%] did (p < 0.05), providing objective data supporting the guidance of short, frequent breaks to alleviate fatigue.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Sarker, Pramiti, Hamid Norasi, Jordyn Koenig, M. Susan Hallbeck, and Gary Mirka. "Effects of break scheduling strategies on subjective and objective measures of neck and shoulder muscle fatigue in asymptomatic adults performing a standing task requiring static neck flexion." Applied Ergonomics 92 (2020): 103311. DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103311. Posted with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Copyright Owner

Elsevier Ltd.



File Format


Available for download on Friday, December 16, 2022

Published Version

Included in

Ergonomics Commons