(CN) – Most of us aren’t doing the heavy lifting. That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Labor Department which on Monday released an analysis of the physical work needed for our jobs.
The agency’s latest Occupational Requirements Survey shows that 13.3 percent of U.S. workers have jobs classified as sedentary, and only 13.7 percent of employed Americans do what the government considered “heavy work.”
The Bureau relies on a scale of strength estimates to come to these determination, and that scale is based on how much weight a worker is required to life or carry occasionally, frequently, and constantly.
The strength level is determined by satisfying at least one of the lifting/carrying conditions shown in the table, or as defined by the “strength special cases” table above.
For example, if a job requires a worker to lift or carry 11–20 pounds occasionally, then it would be classified as light work. However, if that same job were to require lifting or carrying that same weight frequently, then it would be classified as medium work.
Among management occupations, 36.9 percent of jobs in 2016 required light work, and 31.7 percent required medium work; 27.5 percent of management jobs were classified as sedentary.
Heavy work was common among construction and extraction occupations; 45.5 percent of jobs in that occupation required heavy work. Another 37.3 percent of construction and extraction jobs required medium work.
Nearly half of jobs in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations and transportation and material moving occupations required medium work in 2016. About a third of jobs in each of those occupations required heavy work.