Ergonomics is the study of the problems of people adjusting to their environment, especially the science that seeks to adapt work or working conditions to suit the worker. A review of the literature suggests that all oral health professionals may be prone to work-related injuries involving the neck, shoulder, wrist, elbow, hand, and lower back.
If the dental clinic is designed correctly, including the lighting, the risk of these work-related injuries can be minimized. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health performed two surveys of IHS dental facilities and provided them with information on how to improve the efficiency of their dental program and at the same time reduce work-related injuries. IHS developed the guide, Ergonomics Recommendations for Dental Programs, based on those surveys, which also includes checklists for identifying potential problem areas.