- Up to 86% of surgeons report work related pain
- Surgeons are often exposed to non-neutral neck and shoulder postures for prolonged periods of time
- Adequate knowledge of ergonomics has been reported in as few as 11% of practicing surgeons
Head Forward Position & Neck Flexion
- For every inch the head moves forward in space, its relative weight increases by 10 lbs., increasing the demand on neck muscles
- Limiting neck flexion to 20 degrees can result in lower levels of discomfort
Sustained and Awkward Shoulder Elevation
- Shoulder abduction and internal rotation are commonly observed during laparoscopic surgeries
- Increased muscle activation leads to development of fatigue
Lower Limb Support Asymmetry
- Surgeons frequently shift their weight from side-to-side during prolonged surgeries
- Postural imbalance can result in increased shear forces in the lumbar spine
- Adjust Monitor position and height
- Target: 15-40° below eye level
- Approximately ‘arm’s length’ away
- Operating Table height
- Target: relaxed elbows and shoulders
- Placement of Foot pedals
- Aligned with the direction of torso
- Home offices are working environments too!
- Follow recommended ergonomic principles pertaining to chair, desk, monitor, and peripheral requirements
- Take Frequent ‘Microbreaks’ for Postural Resets
- Target: 30s every 20min [2,5]
- Drop shoulders and relax the hands
- Self-assess for body weight asymmetry
- Perform Stretches before, during, and after experiencing prolonged static postures
- Alternating Arm Raises (bilateral/unilateral)
- Standing Squats
- Avoid locking the knees whenever possible
- Actively promote and participate in ergonomics programs within your workplace!
 Park, A. et al. Patients benefit while surgeons suffer: an impending epidemic, J. Am. Coll. Surg.
 Dorion, D. Darveau, S. 2013. Do Micropauses Prevent Surgeon’s Fatigue and Loss of Accuracy Associated with Prolonged Surgery? An Experimental Prospective Study, Ann Surg.
 Rosenblatt, P. L. et al. 2013. Ergonomics in the operating room: protecting the surgeon. J Minim Invasive Gynecol.
 Franasiak, J. M. et al. 2014. Feasibility and effectiveness of an ergonomics training program to address high rates of strain among robotic surgeons. JSLS.
 Shiromani, J. et al. 2017. Ergonomics in the operating room. Surg Endosc.
 Seagull, F. J. 2012 Disparities between industrial and surgical ergonomics. Work.