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Logo of procrsmedFormerly medchtJournal of the Royal Society of MedicineProceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
Proc R Soc Med. 1930 February; 23(4): 479–486.
PMCID: PMC2182931

Industrial Efficiency and Fatigue


The problems of industrial efficiency and fatigue offer increasing scope for the use of that special knowledge of human life with which medical men are equipped by their training. Success and prosperity of industry depend as much on health and efficiency of workers as on the efficiency of machines. Impetus given by European War to study of this human factor; national necessity led to establishment of Health of Munition Workers Committee which later developed into the Industrial Fatigue Research—now the Industrial Health Research—Board of the Medical Research Council. In Germany extensive investigations are now pursued at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut für Arbeitsphysiologie, at Dortmund, into such problems as relationship of age to capacity for heavy muscular work, influence of diet and nutrition on human efficiency, and optimum height of stairs up which loads have to be carried; new system of training apprentices developed in Germany since the war.

Factors influencing efficiency and capacity for work of employees may be placed in two general groups, intra-factory conditions, and extra-factory conditions. Many of these factors have been investigated in this country and in America. In particular, the effect of the environmental conditions of temperature, humidity and air-movement on human efficiency has been studied: but much remains to be done.

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