Effects of different break activities on recovery from mental fatigue
Ng, Melody Mun Hoong
Date of Issue2016
National Institute of Education
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a break including light intensity physical activity on the recovery from mental fatigue. It is hypothesized that a short bout of physical activity during a break would have a positive effect on the recovery of mental fatigue compared to just remaining seated and reading. This research consists of two main studies; (1) Workplace Sitting Breaks Questionnaire (SITBRQ) conducted in a local company with 100 responses and (2) Controlled Experiment with 20 sedentary participants (10 male, 10 female; M age = 23.8 years, SD = 1.64; M body mass index = 21.6 kg/m2, SD = 2.46) who were tested by inducing mental fatigue through Digit Span Test and assessing their recovery from mental fatigue after a break through cognitive performance assessments such as Stroop Test, Math Fluency Test (MFT) and Remotes Associates Test (RAT). Self-reporting scales for fatigue levels and Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) were also administered. The results for Study 1: SITBRQ showed that 30% of the staff only took less than 5 minutes of short physical activity breaks. Findings for Study 2: Controlled Experiment showed that the main effects of time (p = <.001) and conditions (p = .033) for MFT scores were significant, suggesting improvements in recovery of retrieving storage memory after walking during a break. In conclusion, the results of the study support taking a short walk during a break to increase mental fatigue recovery.
Final Year Project (FYP)