Managing Home Related Activities

Lesson 43 : Energy management In Home Related Activities

Managing Home Related Activities

Measuring the energy costs of household tasks, though useful in planning work and in designing living units, provides only a partial understanding of the fatigue the worker experiences. Some light tasks, listed in table 43.1, may be tiring because of personal attitudes, postural strain, muscle tension, or the concentration and skill required. Other energy-demanding tasks may be less tiring than light work because of the cognitive or affective resources of the worker.

The natural capacity of the muscles to produce energy without fatigue is another factor that needs to be understood when evaluating the significance of energy-cost studies for the work in home. Of the total rate of energy expenditure which represents the capacity of the body to work without accumulating fatigue products in muscles, Passmore and

Durnin (1955:833) Say: “... in order to prevent evidence of fatigue the intensity of the workin­g rate and the length of the compensating rest pauses must be so adjusted as to give gross

Table 43.1 Approximate energy costs for selected activities.

Calories per minute


No work
1 Cal/min


1-2 Cal/min

Sedentary activities
Paring potatoes
Machine sewing
Operating a vacuum sweeper.

Standing activities
Beating with rotary beater
Reaching to 22 inches above floor
Reaching to 72 inches above floor

2-3 Cal/min

Dust mopping
Appling floor wax, long-handled applicator
Hanging clothes from basket on floor or table
Playing piano

3-4 Cal/min

Washing floor
Waxing floor
Bed making to three inches above the floor
Cleaning carpeted stairs

Very heavy
Over 4 Cal/min

Going downstairs, from floor
Gardening, Weeding

over-all rates of energy expenditure of not more than 5 Cal/min.

The meaning here is that when there is a steady expenditure of energy of 5 Calories or more per minute in a working day, the circulatory system could not continuously carry away from the muscles the waste products of oxidation. At this rate of energy expenditure, moreover, the heat produced from oxidation in muscles would not be dissipated rapidly enough and the body temperature would rise. Both of these effects would result in decreasing the capacity to continue work.

Appropriate energy management is related to three important components of the task performance

  1. The Worker
  2. The Work and The Work Place.
Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 9:56 AM