Increasing compliance with stretch breaks in computer users through reminder software

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation


Occupational Therapy


n order for a repetitive strain injury (RSI) prevention program to be effective, it is important to implement strategies to maintain a client's compliance with the program. This quantitative study explored the effectiveness of computer reminder software in increasing compliance with a stretching program designed to prevent RSI associated with prolonged computer use. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 26 participants who were instructed in a preventative stretching program and assigned to either a treatment group with the computer reminder software, or a control group without the software. To measure compliance, all participants recorded the number of times per day they stretched. Although a statistically significant difference was not found in the mean number of stretch breaks taken by the two groups (p = 0.09), further analysis suggested a type II error may have occurred. The effect size, d, revealed a large effect suggesting that the computer software had an impact on the frequency of stretch breaks, with the mean number of breaks per hour of work greater for the treatment group. Results strongly suggest that further research is warranted in this area.