n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Human-system -integration : management of stress, strain and fatigue in the workplace

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



Stress, strain and fatigue are words that have a variety of meanings and are used in different ways. For present purposes, they are used in relation to an exposure-outcome model that regards stress as the total demand or load acting on the person. The two most common outcomes resulting from exposure to excess stress are strain and fatigue, which in the present paper are seen as states of the whole person, rather than localised responses. Table 1 contrasts stress, strain and fatigue, seen as global ergonomic issues that act at the level of the whole person, with individual exposures that have local health outcomes. In the following discussion, 'stress' 'strain' and 'fatigue' are discussed at the macro-ergonomic or job / organisation level, rather than the micro-ergonomic or task / workspace level.

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