Poor working posture among dental practitioners has been known to cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are made worse by lengthy procedures and a lack of awareness about the proper working posture.

Objectives: To assess the working posture of clinical dental students to determine if interventions were needed to reduce MSDs.

Methods: The working postures of 225 clinical dental students were recorded and assessed within 10 minutes into procedures from March-December 2019, using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) method. The results were then statistically analysed using chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests.

Results: Of the 225 students observed, 64 (28.4%; 95% CI: 23.1-35.7%) were classified as having RULA scores of 1-2 and 3-4, 141 (62.7%; 95% CI: 58.4- 65.7%) had RULA scores of 5-6 and 19 (8.4%; 95% CI:5.3-12.4%) had RULA scores of 7. Only one student had a RULA score of 1-2, where posture was considered acceptable. The working postures of the students in year 4 (P<0.001) were worse than those of the students in the other clinical years. No significant difference was observed concerning gender variance.

Conclusion: Students’ working postures should be evaluated frequently, and other tools, for example, dental loupes, should be provided to help them maintain good working postures.


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