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What is Work Simplification?

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Updated June 10, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Work simplification describes the making of daily tasks easier in order to reduce strain, or to decrease the amount energy required to complete an activity.

Occupational therapists often combine energy conservation and work simplification techniques for people with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Work simplification techniques range from low-tech (such as using no-scrub cleaners) to high-tech (such as using voice recognition software for typing).

Some other examples include:

  • Using an automated can opener instead of the manual version
  • Lengthening a short handle on a dustpan to avoid bending
  • Using pre-pressed clothes that eliminate the need for ironing
  • Sliding heavy objects or using a wheeled cart to avoid lifting
  • Putting an automatic toilet cleaner in the bowl

Work simplification can be useful for people who wish to remain independent for as long as possible, even if they have a chronic health condition.

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