Review: Metabolic energy cost of workers in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism, and transportation industries

The assessment of energy cost (EC) at the workplace remains a key topic in occupational health due to the ever-increasing prevalence of work-related issues. This review provides a detailed list of EC estimations in jobs/tasks included in tourism, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries. A total of 61 studies evaluated the EC of 1667 workers while performing a large number of tasks related to each one of the aforementioned five industries. Agriculture includes the most energy-demanding jobs (males: 6.0±2.5 kcal/min; females: 2.9±1.0 kcal/min). Jobs in the construction industry were the 2nd most demanding (males: 4.9±1.6 kcal/min; no data for females). The industry with the 3rd highest EC estimate was manufacturing (males: 3.8±1.1 kcal/min; females: 3.0±1.3 kcal/min). Transportation presented relatively moderate EC estimates (males: 3.1±1.0 kcal/min; no data for females). Tourism jobs demonstrated the lowest EC values (2.5±0.9 kcal/min for males and females). It is hoped that this information will aid the development of future instruments and guidelines aiming to protect workers’ health, safety, and productivity. Future research should provide updated EC estimates within a wide spectrum of occupational settings taking into account the sex, age, and physiological characteristics of the workers as well as the individual characteristics of each workplace.