Healthy Computer Breaks

Dear all,

We are inviting you to participate in a study to compare and evaluate computer-usage breaks. Sign up and install here: PAL

The information below provides a summary of the research. Your participation in this research is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time.

The purpose of this study is to compare and evaluate computer-usage breaks. Our goal is to understand the best contexts to recommend computer breaks to users so in the future, we can create applications that enable healthier computer usage. We investigate 3 main types of contexts: schedule-based (e.g., 5-5:10 pm), interval-based (e.g., after every 90 minutes), and activity-based (i.e., based on the computer activity, e.g., using Facebook, PDF reader, etc)

Study Procedures
You will install an application, which will track your computer usage and allow you to set rule-based reminders for computer-related breaks. The application will run 24/7 in the background. You can quit the application if you wish to stop it at any time. You will be able to visualize all the tracked data for self-tracking and your redacted data will be coded and securely saved in a cloud database. You will not receive any financial compensation. The experiment will be 4 weeks long with follow-up surveys up to 10 weeks later. We have 5 study groups and you will be randomly assigned to a group, which will determined the contexts in which you are allowed to get automatic breaks. You choose the length of your breaks and you can cancel, reschedule, or request breaks whenever you want.

Risks & Potential Discomfort
The tracked data will be coded and securely in a cloud database. We will remove any personally identifiable information and also further details, other than application names, time of usage, and base URLs. For example, we will store (base URL) but not the particular Facebook page you’re on, and we will track Preview, but not the name of the PDF you’re reading. You will be able to personalize all your computer-related breaks and though we do not anticipate any discomfort, you can uninstall the application at any time, stop using it, and even withdraw from the study.

Thank you.




Take a look at the application here: PAL-Computer-Usage - YouTube