Do dental students have a neutral working posture?J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016 Nov 21; 29(4):859-864.JB
Dentists are susceptible to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) due to prolonged static postures. To prevent MSDs, working postures of dental students should be assessed and corrected in early career life.
This study estimated the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders in dental students using Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) tool.
A number of 103 undergraduate dental students from fourth and fifth academic years participated. Postures of these students were assessed using RULA tool while working in the dental clinic. They also answered a questionnaire regarding their knowledge about postural dental ergonomic principles.
The majority of the students (66%) were at intermediate and high risk levels to develop MSDs and their postures needed to be corrected. There was no significant correlation between RULA score and gender, academic year and different wards of dental clinics. There was no significant correlation between knowledge and RULA scores.
Dental students did not have favorable working postures. They were at an intermediate to high risk for developing MSDs which calls for a change in their working postures. Therefore students should be trained with ergonomic principles and to achieve the best results, ergonomic lessons should be accompanied by practice and periodical evaluations.