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Musculoskeletal symptoms among dentists in relation to work posture


{\it Objective:} To determine the effect of work posture on musculosketal complaints in Israeli dentists.

{\it Methods:} The population included 60 male dentists mean age was 46.0 (\pm SD 8.66), 30 worked in sitting position and 30 were altering positions. Study population completed the standardized Nordic questionnaire and informative form concerning recipient's practice of dentistry, bio-demographic variables and questions about workloads.

{\it Results:} Musculoskeletal symptoms in the last 12 months were localized primarily in the lower back and in the neck (55% and 38.3% respectively). There was a significant correlation between the time spent sitting and the severity of low back pain (r = 0.41, p = 0.01). On the other hand there was no significant correlation between time spent sitting and other musculoskeletal complaints (r = - 0.16).

{\it Conclusions:} Dentists who work in the sitting position have more severe low back pain than do those who alternate between sitting and standing despite the fact that those who sat at least 80% of the time worked less hours and had less of a workload during their working hours. This suggests that altering position should be recommended to dentists. An intervention study, however, is needed to demonstrate that changing posture will decrease the prevalence of low back pain in dentists.