Help - Move With The Times

This program computes the time and the rest/recovery breaks that are necessary, when they should occur, and their duration. It applies to the moving of articles manually by an adult standing male who is suitable for and used to heavy physical work.

In many places the demand for this sort of work is small, but so too is the availability of workers.

The use of the program can be extended to workers not in the 'used to heavy phsical work' class. In this case the weight of the article could be entered as double the real weight (or some other factor according to the capability of the persons concerned).

The program looks at overall energy use, and does not detect the problems which can occur with high repetition: mental monotony, or physical monotony, where a particular set of muscles can be exhausted rather than the body as a whole.


An MTU is a Motion-Time-Unit and a ETU is an Energy-Time-Unit. For a mix of different actions and/or different articles (say n in number), take a note of all the MTUs and total them; take a note, too, of all the ETUs and total them also. Select the higher total, divide it by 7 and then divide it by n. This gives the average time in seconds for one article in the mix (after providing for all rest and recovery times).

If the mix is of heavy and lighter work, you will have to use some imagination, because lighter work does not generate ETUs in this program (but this never means that" the values are zero)."

The minimum time used for rest and recovery in this program is 5.8 minutes for 54.2 minutes work.

Start and End Locations

First we examine the locations of the Start and End. We don't really want to know where the article is, but rather where the hands have to go. There are 5 possible locations:

Selection Description Distance above the floor
at feet in the foot area 0 to 0.15 (m), 0 to 6 (in)
calf below the knee, but above the ankle 0.15 to 0.55 (m), 6 to 22 (in)
waist below, the shoulder, but above the knee 0.55 to 1.5 (m), 22 to 59 (in)
head below the top of the head, but above the shoulder 1.5 to 1.8 (m), 59 to 71 (in)
above head above the head 1.8 to 2.2 (m), 71 to 87 (in)

If the start or end location is above the head and the distance is more than 2.2 m (87in.) above the floor, then note that some kind of ladder would be necessary. This program is not providing for the use of such a ladder, and you will have to make some time allowance for that use.

Start Ease

Selection Hand Engagement(s) Description Articles are:
simple grasp 1 Simple grasp start but with bracing. Provided with a handle.
two hands free standing 2 Two hands to Start with no obstruction. Free standing and unimpeded by others.
two hands slightly impeded 3 Two hands to Start with some obstruction Slightly impeded by other articles.
two hands impeded 4 Two hands to Start with reasonable obstruction. Impeded by other articles or other difficulties.
two hands severely impeded 5 Two hands to Start with obstruction and bracing. Severely impeded by other articles or other difficulties.

End Ease

Selection Description Articles are:
general location Hands do not touch again, no care with placement. Placed untidily.
with tidiness With tidiness but hands do not touch again. Placed neatly.
one extra contact One *new or possible contact by one hand to place the article in line. Moderately heavy or bulky.
two extra contacts Two *new or possible contacts by hands - usually both - to position article. Heavy or bulky.

*New (or possible) hand engagements are for lining articles up. Sometimes the person regularly pauses to see if an extra hand movement has become necessary. When this happens, ONE new hand engagement should be allowed (even when not generally used).

For heavy articles (over 26 kg)(57 lb), TWO new hand engagements may sometimes be allowed:

The principle followed is that the data is about the Placement of non-fragile articles. It does not cover the situation where the article is merely dropped or thrown. On the other hand, if the article is fragile, like glassware, this data again does not apply.


Data is about men suitable for and used to heavy physical work. By using a figure higher than the real figure (double??) the results can apply to other people.


For our immediate purpose a step is defined as the action of one foot passing the other, thus repositioning one foot or both feet is not counted as a step provided one foot does not pass the other. When the worker goes from the Start to the End, you need to consider is one/or more steps absolutely necessary.


No Steps Taken

When no steps are taken, you need to enter the distance from where the article started to where it finished. You could put an article in the start position, and a similar article in the end position. Then measure the distance with a tape.

Make sure that you take the measurement from the same corner or edge of the article. (If you measure how much there is between the two articles, this would be less than the distance travelled.)

Do not try to measure the actual path the article will travel, but merely take a straight line from one position to the other. Disregard any small deviations which may have be necessary to clear the edge of a bench or table. The direction: up, down, or sideways does not have to be taken into account.

Steps Taken

When steps are taken, you need to enter the horizontal distance on the level from the Start to the End.

Distances in this program are defined as distance OUT with the person laden. Don't worry about distances BACK, they are computed by the program, and the person is regarded as unladen.


Is the article carried up or down stairs? Vertical component of the stairs.


Is the article carried up or down ramps? Vertical and horizontal components of the ramps.