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Work Interruptions and multitasking in information-intensive occupations - effects on performance and work ability, health and productivity under particular consideration of ageing employees

Project number: F 2220 Institution: University of Leipzig Status: Completed Project


The aim of this project is to investigate the effects of frequent work interruptions and multitasking on work ability, performance capacity and health. Elderly employees are of particular interest. Work package 1 is focused on a review about the state of the art on basis of the international literature. The main topics of the review are:

  1. Prevalence and distribution of work interruptions and multitasking in the world of work under consideration of age and occupation
  2. Relations between work interruptions and multitasking, performance capacity, work ability and health
  3. Estimation work interruptions and multitasking under consideration of brain capacity and
  4. Prevention of stress due to work interruptions and multitasking.

Work package 2 is the main part of this project. It is focused on empirical investigations about aetiological relations between workload due to work interruptions and multitasking, work ability, performance capacity, wellbeing and health under consideration of the age of employees in an occupational setting.

In work package 3 experimental approaches for investigating processes of information processing during multitasking and work interruptions are to be discussed. Age-related changes of the brain capacity are of particular importance. Recommendations on measures of work design to prevent stress due to multitasking and work interruptions should be given on basis of the results of work packages 1 to 3.


Unit 3.4 "Mental Health and Cognitive Capacity"

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