Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Ritchie Taylor (Director), Dr. Vijay Golla and Dr. Xiuhua Ding

Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


Dental practice requires unique working conditions such as prolonged working hours, strained body postures and laborious, high finesse dental techniques. However, it can be more efficiently performed by the application of ergonomics, rather than physically forcing the worker's body to fit the job. Posture is highly influenced by factors such as inadequate working level, incorrect patient positioning, and poor visual comfort. In order to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders it is necessary to control these and other factors, and design the human work environment to be more ergonomic. The aim of this study was to assess ergonomics within Indian dental practice and elucidate factors that prevented application of ergonomics.

An observational study was conducted among 58 Indian dentists, both from a private dental hospital and clinics. A questionnaire that consisted of 37 open-ended and closed-ended questions was used as a research tool for the study. Information on background characteristics, work environment, equipment, work administration, and ergonomic awareness was collected using the questionnaire. Sampling consisted of observing 37 male and 21 female dentists. A total of 58 individuals, 62 % ( 36), worked for a private dental hospital, and 38% (22) for dental clinics. A majority, 84.5% (49), of the dentists reported that they did not receive ergonomic training from their work administration. Most dentists, 96% (56), reported that there was no system of recordkeeping for workplace accidents. Lack of proper ergonomic training and no system of recordkeeping for workplace accidents were found to be the primary factors for not applying ergonomics by Indian dentists. Ergonomic training programs are needed in India to help educate dentists on workplace safety and health, and thus aid in reducing musculoskeletal pain. Finally, a system is needed in Indian dental practice to promote workplace safety and health by identifying workplace hazards that result in injuries.


Ergonomics | Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene | Public Health Education and Promotion