The Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) publishes job-related information on physical demands; environmental
conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements. The job requirements
reflect those necessary for workers to perform critical tasks in support of the critical job functions, and not the
capabilities of individual workers.
The ORS publishes five strength levels (sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy), which are part of the published
physical demands, and are calculated from the weight and duration associated with lifting, carrying, and in some cases,
Chart A. Percentage of civilian workers by strength level, 2021
Duration levels are used to calculate the amount of time spent lifting or carrying. There are four duration levels in
relation to a job's workday schedule: seldom (up to 2 percent), occasional (2 percent to 1/3), frequent (1/3 to 2/3), and
constant (2/3 or more).
For example, if workers deliver items weighing between 26-50 pounds occasionally, then the job would be classified as a
medium strength level. However, if they delivered slightly heavier items (51-100 pounds) or the duration of carrying or
lifting 26-50 pounds increased to being performed frequently, then the job would be classified as a heavy strength level.
“Negligible weight” includes anything lifted or carried weighing less than one pound. (See Table 1.)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Requirements Survey
Occupational Requirements Survey ●www.bls.gov/ors ●firstname.lastname@example.org ●202.691.6199
Sedentary strength level
Strength is considered sedentary when none of the conditions in the strength chart are met and standing is required less
than or equal to 1/3 of the work schedule or workday.
Occupations with critical tasks where workers typically spend the day sitting a