Reducing frequency and repetition of movements

Where the frequency and repetition of movements is highlighted as a problem, the general principles are to:

  • Reduce the number of repetitive movements and the rate at which they are made, especially where these are combined with applying force and/or in awkward postures
  • Restructure work methods to provide greater variety of movement

Automation and mechanisation

  • Can machinery do the highly repetitive functions and leave more varied jobs for the workers?
  • Take care to avoid creating repetitive, boring and monotonous tasks to feed the machinery

Avoid machine pacing of the work

Automated and team working can all act to increase the work rate. Aim to allow people to control their own pace of work


  • Use power tools in place of manual tools
  • Use manual tools with ratchet devices to reduce the number of movements required, eg screwdrivers or spanners

Task design

  • Break up long periods of frequent repetitions and static inactivity with frequent pause
  • Spread repetitive task elements and movements across both hands
  • Share repetitive work through teamwork or task rotation
  • Distribute the workload over different muscle groups and joints

Task enlargement

Consider adding extra activities to the task to provide more variety in posture and movement

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Updated: 2021-10-11