Influence of different stool types on muscle activity and lumbar posture among dentists during a simulated dental screening task

Whereas in the past dental stools typically facilitated a 90° hip angle, a number of currently available alternative designs allow for a more extended hip posture. The present study investigated the influence of different stool types on muscle activity and lumbar posture. Twenty five participants completed a simulated dental procedure on a standard stool, a saddle and the Ghopec. The latter stool comprises a seat pan consisting of a horizontal rear part for the pelvis and an inclinable sloping down front part for the upper legs, with a vertically and horizontally adjustable back rest. Lumbar posture was most close to neutral on the Ghopec, whereas sitting on a standard/saddle stool resulted in more flexed/extended postures respectively. Sitting with a 90° angle (standard stool) resulted in higher activation of back muscles while sitting with a 125° angle (saddle and Ghopec) activated abdominal muscles more, although less in the presence of a backrest (Ghopec). To maintain neutral posture during dental screening, the Ghopec is considered the most suitable design for the tasks undertaken.

Source: De Bruyne, Mieke A.A, Van Renterghemb, Benedikt, Baird, Andrew, Palmans, Tanneke, Danneels, Lieven, & Dolphens, Mieke. (2016). Applied Ergonomics, 56(9), 220-226.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2016.02.014

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