Last updated: May 25, 2018

What Does Duration Mean?

Duration is a measure of time, referring to the length of time something continues or exists. In ergonomics studies, duration refers to the length of time an individual is engaged in an activity or exposed to a risk factor. Duration is on of several factors used by ergonomists to determine the severity of an ergonomic risk and the need for working environment adjustments.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Duration

In ergonomics, duration is used to describe the time period during which an individual is engaged in a specific exertion, exposed to a work related musculoskelatal risk factor, or assumes a particular posture. Knowing how long the individual will engage in an activity is useful in evaluating work flow and job design.

Duration may be expressed narrowly with reference to cycle times, which are the periods needed to perform one complete operation of a task. For instance, the term duration of exertion refers to the time period, expressed as a percentage, over which a physical exertion is maintained during an exertion or task cycle.

Duration may also be used more broadly to describe an individual's daily, yearly, or even lifetime exposure to a risk factor. Exposure to vibration, for example, may be quantified as number of hours per day of exposure. When considering workplace health and safety, it is generally accepted that the longer the duration of an exposure, the greater the risk of injury.


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