Ergonomic Risk Assessment of Dental Students-RULA Applied to Objective Kinematic Data.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 10 08; 18(19)IJ
Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) is already prevalent in dental students despite their young age and the short duration of dental practice. The current findings state that the causes of MSD are related to posture during dental work. This study aims to investigate the ergonomic risk of dental students. In order to analyze the ergonomic risk of dental students, 3D motion analyses were performed with inertial sensors during the performance of standardized dental activities. For this purpose, 15 dental students and 15 dental assistant trainees (all right-handed) were measured in a team. Data were analyzed using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), which was modified to evaluate objective data. Ergonomic risk was found for the following body parts in descending order: left wrist, right wrist, neck, trunk, left lower arm, right lower arm, right upper arm, left upper arm. All relevant body parts, taken together, exhibited a posture with the highest RULA score that could be achieved (median Final Overall = 7), with body parts in the very highest RULA score of 7 for almost 80% of the treatment time. Dental students work with poor posture over a long period of time, exposing them to high ergonomic risk. Therefore, it seems necessary that more attention should be paid to theoretical and practical ergonomics in dental school.