By the end of this post, the reader should be able to:

·         Explain management of human energy and its importance.

·         Analyze the causes of fatigue.

·         Suggest ways of reducing fatigue in the home.



Human energy is the capacity to do work. OR It is the ability in us which enables us to do work. Everyone has energy to use, but the amount we have is limited. Energy is a resource which is combined with other resources for performance of physical activities such as running or mental activity such as reading. Energy therefore refers to the ability to do work. Activities carried out in the home such as cooking, washing, cleaning etc. need energy.



Energy management is a process of planning, implementing and evaluating the use of energy in order to conserve it. OR Energy management is the process of planning and controlling the use of energy in order to preserve it.

When energy is properly managed, more tasks can be accomplished in a shorter time without much fatigue.


Characteristics of energy as a resource

(i) Scarce: It is not readily available all the time.

(ii) Limited: The amount of energy every individual has may vary in terms of quantity and quality.

(iii) Utility: Energy is a very useful human resource and should be used to improve the quality of life of individuals and on work performance.

(iv) Multiple or alternative uses: Energy can be substitute or used for several things.

It can also be interchanged to achieve a goal.


Types of  Human Energy

There are two main types of energy:

(a) Physical energy / strength

(b) Mental energy.

Physical Energy 

This energy is produced by the muscles and it comes from the food we eat (that is when food is oxidized). The amount of energy produced by food eaten is measured in kilocalories or kilojoules.

physical energy

Example of physical energy

Mental energy

This energy comes from your state of mind and it is a product of the brain. To work, an individual needs both energy produced by muscles and the energy that comes from your state of mind and cannot be measured in specific terms or units. It is the state of a person which is often referred to as "vitality", which is a state of being strong or alert and ready to start or continue a job.

Reasons / Importance of Energy Management

(i) To conserve energy: This means energy must be used to carry out an activity for a longer time.

(ii) To minimize the amount of time spent on a given task: Energy management ensures that less time is used to complete a particular task or activity.

(iii) To eliminate fatigue: The worker will not easily get tired when energy is well managed during work, and this will enable him work till he completes the task.

(iv) It helps to increase the worker's interest in a given task. A worker develops more interest in a given task when he manages energy and does not get tired.

(v) It encourages work to be carried out in the best possible way, and aids in the elimination of unnecessary movements.



Fatigue refers to an overwhelming sense of tiredness, lack ci energy and a feeling of exhaustion as a result of physical or mental work. Fatigue is the reduction in your capacity to work. It occurs when we overuse or ineffectively use the body. It may also be defined as a reduction in energy as a result of physical or mental work or weariness from labor or exertion.


Types Of Fatigue

Fatigue may be physical or mental.

a) Physical or physiological fatigue

This occurs when the individual's ability to work reduces because of previous work done, insufficient rest or illness. The ability can only be regained through rest, because the individual is physically tired.

b) Mental or psychological fatigue

This occurs as a result of mental tiredness, frustration, lack of interest, boredom, etc. OR It could result from or in a person's dislike of a particular task. This dislike then prevents work from being accomplished though the physical energy for work may still be there.


Causes of Fatigue

(i) Heavy physical or mental exertion or activity such as carrying heavy objects, scrubbing floors which requires a lot of energy.

(ii) Keeping in one position for a long time such as stooping to wash or standing or sitting in one position to study for a long. time.

(iii) Performing an activity, you do not like, such as weeding around the house or scrubbing a very dirty floor.

iv) Long periods of working at a task, such as weeding, reading, pounding of fufu, etc.

(v) Working under poor conditions such as poor lighting, poor ventilation, or using inappropriate tools. E.g., using a table which is too high or too low.

(vi) Learning a new task such as using a serving machine or a computer for the first time.

(vii) Working on an unfamiliar task.

(viii) Concentrating on an activity such as studying for a long time.

(ix) When one is sick or hungry. A sick or hungry person will easily get tired in no time.

(x) Working without adequate skills or knowledge about the task.


Ways of Reducing Fatigue in the Home

(i) Improve work environment by providing good lighting and ventilation in a room.

(ii) Plan work to be done. This help to cut down unnecessary movements and make provisions for rest periods

(iii) Mix strenuous activities with lighter ones when planning work.

(iv) Use suitable work heights to prevent bending or over stretching.

(v) Do not stay too long at a particular task.

(vi)  Rest after carrying out strenuous activity. Providing periods for rest after undertaking difficult task will enable the individual regain energy and avoid fatigue.

(vii) Arrange work and equipment for work in sequential order to avoid too much movement.

(viii)     Use appropriate tools for work. Use the right tool for the right activity e.g., use a sharp knife for cutting instead of a blunt one.

(ix) Use labor — saving or energy saving devices or equipment, e.g., the use of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, blenders, etc. will reduce energy exertion.

(x) Adopt work simplification technique. Arrange equipment and work activities in an orderly manner to avoid unnecessary movement.


Effects of Fatigue

i.  It prevents a person from doing work or impairs work performance.

ii.  It causes unhappiness, irritation and unfriendliness.

iii.  It makes one feel dull and sluggish. A fatigued person wants to lie down.


Examination Questions and Answers on Management of Human energy

l . a. Define the concept of human energy.

b. State and explain five importance of energy management


2. Differentiate between

a. Physical and mental energy

b. Physical and mental fatigue


3. a. Define fatigue

b. What are the causes of fatigue in the home?


4. In what five ways can fatigue be reduced in the home?


5. a. Explain the concept of energy.

b. State and explain two characteristics of energy

c. Describe four situations which may contribute to fatigue of the worker in the home

d. Suggest three ways by which fatigue can be minimized in house work. (November 2003)


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