Work‐break schedules for preventing musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders

Added August 24, 2020

Citation: Luger T, Maher CG, Rieger MA, Steinhilber B. Work‐break schedules for preventing musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders in healthy workers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019;(7):CD012886.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on workers. Existing research on the effects of different ways of working might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this Cochrane review, the authors searched for randomised trials of work-break interventions for preventing work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders among healthy adult workers. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search in May 2019. They included 6 randomized trials and identified one additional ongoing study. They assessed the quality of the evidence as low to very low.

What works: Additional work breaks may have a positive effect on productivity and work performance when compared to a traditional work-break schedule, but might have no effect on musculoskeletal pain, discomfort or fatigue when compared to no additional work breaks or work breaks taken as needed.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What is uncertain: The effects of different durations of work breaks are uncertain.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.