Walking to Reduce Stress Among VRS Interpreters


Walking to Reduce Stress Among VRS Interpreters
Mychal J. Hadrich
Degree Name
Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies
Project Type
Video relay service (VRS) interpreters experience many unique stressors not found in other interpreting settings. These stressors include long hours of sitting in front of a computer screen, managing high call volumes, interpreting difficult or emotionally charged conversations, and serving in dual roles of interpreter and customer service representative. Research has shown that high stress levels can lead to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, and burnout. Additionally, burnout can cause decreased job satisfaction, increased absenteeism, and attrition within the VRS industry. Despite the unique dynamics VRS interpreters confront, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and VRS providers continue to operate with standards that contradict the code of professional conduct, a set of ethical standards set forth by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

In this paper, the job demands-resources model (Demerouti et al., 2001) was applied to identify specific stressors in the VRS industry. The frequency and perceived efficacy of various break-time activities interpreters often engage in to reduce stress was analyzed. Finally, I discuss recommendations on the findings about the effect walking breaks had on VRS interpreters’ stress levels using self-reported data and the Work Stress Questionnaire.
Committee Member
Elisa Maroney
Laura Ellington-Sayen
Marlee Dyce