Study on ergonomics conducted by Goethe University in Germany


XO CARE has a long-standing partnership collaboration with Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main due to our common profound interest in the ergonomic and occupational health of dental practitioners.


XO CARE has recently been contacted by Dr. Werner Betz from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, where he and his team are currently conducting a highly interesting research project and are looking for a selection of dental practitioners to participate in a study.


Dental clinics using XO's FLEX unit have been invited to join this research project (see details of the study below) in which researchers will test the postures during dental work to find out whether the four basic concepts (arrangement principle of the treatment unit) demonstrably differ ergonomically with regard to the working posture.


We are looking much forward to follow this project and its results.



Description of a research project:


Survey of biomechanical measurement, strength training and ergonomics training (SOpEZ)



Background and objective:


Musculoskeletal diseases are part of everyday work in dentistry. This always more frequently leads to absenteeism from work, for example, due to back pain. To address this problem is being carried out on behalf of the Employer's Liability Insurance Association for Health Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege (BGW) a study on the optimization of ergonomics in dentistry (SOpEZ).


Musculoskeletal disorders lead to large expenditures on the health system. In Germany, the cost of these diseases will account for about 10% of the cost of the disease in 2015. Besides, a large number of work incapacity days are due to complaints of the musculoskeletal system to lead you back to the same place.


In spite of its important role, back disease as such in dentistry is not a recognized occupational disease.


For this reason, the BGW, about which a large part of the of the dental assistants are insured, has given a large-scale cooperation project to the Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, the Centre of Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine (Carolinum) and the Policlinic for Orthodontics of the University Hospital of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in commission in the future, the risk of musculoskeletal diseases is to be sustainably reduced. And consequently, also reduces work-related absenteeism or early retirement in this respect. This may also include the modification of the current arrangement of the treatment units through an improved ergonomic design of the workplace setting.


The most recent survey data for Germany to date from 2001 show that even then approx. 86.7% of dentists complained of neck and back pain. In 68.6% of those surveyed, the complaints already occurred on a weekly basis. As part of the study, a Germany-wide online survey will now be conducted in order to obtain differentiated and up-to-date data.


A questionnaire addresses itself both to dentists in established practices and hospitals and dental specialists. Students and trainees are also encouraged to take part in the survey.



Strength training:


It will be investigated to what extent systematic, health-oriented and workplace-specific strength training leads to a reduction of musculoskeletal complaints. For this purpose, a 3-month training program is to be carried out in which the muscles of the trunk, in particular, are trained twice a week for one hour. In addition, following the training intervention, a new biomechanical measurement is carried out in order to analyze any changes in posture during the treatment of the patient.



Ergonomics training:


It is also checked whether workplace-specific, health-oriented, participatory ergonomics training contributes to the reduction of complaints in the musculoskeletal system. The ergonomics training is divided into four block seminars of four hours each. The interval between the seminars is three to four weeks. According to a proprioceptive approach, dentists should experience, practice and consolidate favorable forms of movement during work on the phantom head and in cooperation with an assistant. In addition, the participants receive visual feedback in the form of video analysis.