Prevention of Neck, Shoulder and Back Disorders

ergonomics dentist surgeon

Here is an interesting article for dentists and surgeons experiencing neck, shoulder and back pain. Alan Hedge, PhD, CPE, Professor of Ergonomics at Cornell University offers these ergonomic recommendations for dentists and surgeons. This is why we created Orbital chairs and as you can see our chairs check off all the boxes. The advantages of using an Orbital chair have been added following each point (in blue). Please see the full article in Spine Universe.

Ergonomic recommendations for minimizing the risks of back injuries focus on improving working posture and equipment design. These include:

  • Change Posture – Alternate between sitting and standing to reduce postural fatigue and maximize postural variety, which helps to reduce static muscle fatigue.

Orbital chairs fully support the operator to reduce postural fatigue. Most are adjustable from seated to supported standing position. Our saddle seat helps to maintain pelvic tilt and foot pegs allow for multiple options to avoid static positioning.

  • Use Support – When sitting or standing, don’t lean forwards or stoop in an unsupported posture for prolonged periods. If you are sitting, sit up straight or recline slightly in a chair with good back support, and use a good footrest if necessary. If you are standing for prolonged periods try to find something to help you lean against.

Unsupported forward leaning is definitely something to avoid and over time will definitely lead to musculoskeletal pain. But let’s face it, leaning forward is a required position for many procedures and most back rests go largely unused. Orbital chairs are designed to provide anterior support to help the operator maintain proper ergonomic positioning during these prolonged forward leaning procedures.

  • Safe reaching – Avoid having to reach awkwardly to equipment and work close to the patient. Keep the items used most frequently within a distance of about 20 inches (50 cm). Use assistants to help move equipment into this zone.

Reaching increases strain on your neck, shoulders, arms and back. Our chairs incorporate a chest pad which provides bio-feedback to remind you to stay in proper alignment. The chest pad coupled with the fully articulating arm rests simply don’t allow for poor posture or awkward reaching. We recommended that you try to keep items on the same plane as your arm rests to avoid reaching or lifting.

  • Normal arm posture – Keep elbows and upper arms close to the body and don’t raise and tense the shoulders when working. Also, ensure that hand postures are not deviated because this could lead to wrist problems.

Orbital chairs are optioned with individually adjustable arm rests. The fully articulating arm rests pivot on bearings to provide uninhibited support for your arms, relieving tension on your shoulders and neck. We recommend arm rest height be set at a static position just above your fully relaxed shoulder position. By relaxing the arms and shoulders there is less risk of muscle strain transferring to your wrists.

  • Use Comfortable Equipment – Use equipment that isn’t too heavy, that can be used without awkward upper body posture, and that feels comfortable to use. Ergonomically designed equipment helps to minimize stresses on the upper extremities and the back.

Orbital chairs are designed to be adjusted to fit any operator and provide excellent full body ergonomic support. All of our chairs are available with a saddle seat or our custom double density foam (flat) seat for best options in comfortable positioning.

  • Manage Time – Avoid long appointments where possible, or intersperse these with frequent short rest breaks in which you change posture and relax the upper extremities.

Orbital chairs were are designed for long procedures. Relax when possible. Our chairs provide the best in full body ergonomic support and are fully adjustable to obtain correct ergonomic positioning. This support system reduces stress and muscle fatigue allowing the operator to perform longer procedures and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues.

Here is the full article: