Management Uses of Work Physiology

by Richard Chase



The article discusses uses of work physiology. Work physiology can be viewed as an alternative to the traditional methods of work measurement, including time study, work sampling, elemental data, the motion time data. These methods have wide acceptance in industry, and their operational utility cannot be denied. In using work physiology techniques it is necessary to have some concept of the difficulty or intensity of the work being performed. Application of physiological techniques to work design and measurement is not new but as yet relatively few firms are aware of the advantages which it holds for them. Knowledge of the physiological nature of work in many instances is as important as the psychological aspects and only by understanding both can management be assured of an optimal job design. Work physiology potentially affords a high degree of accuracy in successful worker placement. A distinct advantage of work physiology is that it provides an objective measure of the physical effort involved in manual work. Work physiology is especially valuable in determining the extent of adjustment which must be made for changes in environmental factors, such as increases in heat and humidity.

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