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Principles of Motion Economy Essay

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These 22 rules are principles of motion economy are profitably applied to many kinds of work. Although not all are applicable to every operation, they do form a basis or a code for improving the efficiency and reducing fatigue in manual work.


1.The two hands should begin as well as complete their motions at the same time. 2.The two hands should not be idle at the same time, except during rest periods. 3.Motions of the arms should be made in opposite and symmetrical directions, and should be made simultaneously.

4.Hand and body motions should be confined to the lowest classification with which it is possible to perform the work satisfactorily. 5.Momentum should be employed to assist the worker wherever possible, and if should be reduced to a minimum if it must be overcome by muscular effort. 6.Smooth continuous curved motions of the hands are preferable to straight-line motions involving sudden and sharp changes in direction.

7.Ballistic movements are faster, easier, and more accurate than restricted (fixation) or “controlled” movements. 8.Work should be arranged to permit easy and natural rhythm wherever possible. 9.Eye fixations should be as few and as close together as possible.


1.There should be a definite and fixed place for all tools, and materials. 2.Tools, materials, and controls should be located close to the point of use. 3.Gravity feed bins and containers should be used to deliver material close to the point of use. 4.Drop deliveries should be used wherever possible.

5.Materials and tools should be located to permit the best sequence of motions. 6.Provisions should be made for adequate conditions for seeing. Good illumination is the first requirement for satisfactory visual perception. 7.The height of the workplace and the chair should preferably be arranged so that alternate sitting and standing at work are easily possible. 8.A chair of the type and height to permit good posture should be provided for every worker.


1.The hands should be relieved of all work that can be done more advantageously by a jig, a fixture, or a foot-operated device. 2.Two or more tools should be combined wherever possible. 3.Tools and materials should be pre-positioned whenever possible. 4.Where each finger performs some specific movement, such as in typewriting, the load should be distributed in accordance with the inherent capacities of the fingers. 5.Levers, hand wheels and other controls should be located in such positions that the operator can manipulate them with the least change in body position and with the greatest speed and ease.

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