Constrained posture in dentistry – a kinematic analysis of dentists

  • Background: How a dentist works, such as the patterns of movements performed daily, is also largely affected by the workstation Dental tasks are often executed in awkward body positions, thereby causing a very high degree of strain on the corresponding muscles. The objective of this study is to detect those dental tasks, during which awkward postures occur most frequently. The isolated analysis of static postures will examine the duration for which these postures are maintained during the corresponding dental, respectively non-dental, activities. Methods: 21 (11f/10 m) dentists (age: 40.1 ± 10.4 years) participated in this study. An average dental workday was collected for every subject. To collect kinematic data of all activities, the CUELA system was used. Parallel to the kinematic examination, a detailed computer-based task analysis was conducted. Afterwards, both data sets were synchronized based on the chronological order of the postures assumed in the trunk and the head region. All tasks performed were assigned to the categories "treatment" (I), "office" (II) and "other activities" (III). The angle values of each body region (evaluation parameter) were examined and assessed corresponding to ergonomic standards. Moreover, this study placed a particular focus on static positions, which are held statically for 4 s and longer. Results: For "treatment" (I), the entire head and trunk area is anteriorly tilted while the back is twisted to the right, in (II) and (III) the back is anteriorly tilted and twisted to the right (non-neutral position). Static positions in (I) last for 4–10s, static postures (approx. 60%) can be observed while in (II) and (III) in the back area static positions for more than 30 s are most common. Moreover, in (II) the back is twisted to the right for more than 60 s in 26.8%. Conclusion: Awkward positions are a major part of a dentists’ work. This mainly pertains to static positions of the trunk and head in contrast to "office work." These insights facilitate the quantitative description of the dentist profession with regard to the related physical load along with the health hazards to the musculoskeletal system. Moreover, the results allow for a selective extraction of the most unfavorable static body positions that dentists assume for each of the activities performed.

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Author:Daniela Maren OhlendorfORCiDGND, Christina ErbeORCiDGND, Jennifer Nowak, Imke Hauck, Ingo Hermanns, Dirk Ditchen, Rolf Ellegast, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC musculoskeletal disorders
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/07/05
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/04/26
Tag:Constrained posture; Cuela; Dentist; Kinematic analysis; Musculoskeletal disorder
Issue:1, Art. 291
Page Number:15
First Page:1
Last Page:15
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie / Biochemie und Chemie
Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0