Effects of prolonged microscopic work on neck and back strain amongst male ENT clinicians and the benefits of a prototype postural support chair

Musculoskeletal pain is a common occupational hazard experienced by surgeons. Otologists are predisposed to neck and back pain due to regular prolonged microscopic work. We conducted a prospective pilot study to investigate the effects of sustained microscopic work on the neck and back, its correlation to surgical experience and to assess the benefits of a prototype postural support chair (PSC) amongst 10 male ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinicians. We used a subjective measure of time to fatigue and pain for the neck and back as well as objective readings from a surface electromyogram (sEMG). We found that an increase in surgical experience correlated with the time taken to experience fatigue and pain in the neck and back. This was corroborated by our sEMG findings. The PSC significantly delayed the sensations in the neck and also eliminated the difference seen amongst the varying seniority of clinicians.

Source: Vijendren, A., Devereux, G., Kenway, B., Duffield, K., Van Rompaey, V., van de Heyning, P. et Yung, M. (2017). International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.

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