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, 13 (12), e0208900

Assessment of the Ergonomic Risk From Saddle and Conventional Seats in Dentistry: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Assessment of the Ergonomic Risk From Saddle and Conventional Seats in Dentistry: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Giovana Renata Gouvêa et al. PLoS One.


Objective: This study aimed to verify whether the saddle seat provides lower ergonomic risk than conventional seats in dentistry.

Methods: This review followed the PRISMA statement and a protocol was created and registered in PROSPERO (CRD42017074918). Six electronic databases were searched as primary study sources. The "grey literature" was included to prevent selection and publication biases. The risk of bias among the studies included was assessed with the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tool for Systematic Reviews. Meta-analysis was performed to estimate the effect of seat type on the ergonomic risk score in dentistry. The heterogeneity among studies was assessed using I2 statistics.

Results: The search resulted in 3147 records, from which two were considered eligible for this review. Both studies were conducted with a total of 150 second-year dental students who were starting their laboratory activities using phantom heads. Saddle seats were associated with a significantly lower ergonomic risk than conventional seats [right side (mean difference = -3.18; 95% CI = -4.96, -1.40; p < 0.001) and left side (mean difference = -3.12; 95% CI = -4.56, -1.68; p < 0.001)], indicating posture improvement.

Conclusion: The two eligible studies for this review provide moderate evidence that saddle seats provided lower ergonomic risk than conventional seats in the examined population of dental students.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Flowchart of the process of searching and selecting the literature, adapted from the PRISMA statement.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Effect of seat type (saddle versus conventional) on ergonomic risk score in dentistry, assessed using the RULA scale.

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Grant support

This work was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) - process # 1595065, and by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) - process # 157080/2014-5.