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The operating room is one of the most expensive jobs in hospitals [11]. However, there are tough working conditions in the operating room, especially in surgery, which also promotes a high fluctuation of doctors. It is not surprising that surgeons have a lower quality of life than the general population [12]. There is now a lot of talk about the psychological stress and health of surgeons, surgical assistants (OTA) and junior doctors due to long hours of work and high pressure to perform.


For example, studies are carried out on stress, burnout and work-life balance and solutions are presented to maintain mental health [13 to 15]. 

Another important point during operations is the physical strain on employees. Many surgeons suffer from muscle pain, tired eyes and shaking hands during surgery [16; 17]. At the same time, the musculoskeletal system is stressed by an unergonomic posture during the operation [10; 17]. Almost every surgeon knows a colleague with a herniated disc who can no longer operate due to years of pain and subsequent spinal surgery [17]. 

Psychological aspects of stress are well known, but physical stressors such as MSDs are poorly documented [8]. Physical complaints and MSDs among surgeons therefore receive little attention in development, prevention, new techniques and research, and improvements tend to take place in the area of nursing [7; 13; 18; 19].


Today, as in the past, surgeons operate on patients for long periods of time in uncomfortable and static postures, while patient care improves every year.

Companies bring new medical products onto the market that promote patient recovery, while at the same time suitable aids for the surgeon are not available [6; 17; 19; 20]. The development of knowledge has increased the speed of work and increased productivity, while causing or exacerbating complications such as fatigue, stress and MSDs [9; 11].


Many doctors suffer from physical discomfort during and after operations. There is a medical culture that is mentally, emotionally and physically stressful; a culture of silent suffering where the complaints are ignored. However, this can lead to reduced productivity and jeopardizing one's surgical career [2; 6; 12; 14; 17]. 

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD) are a major problem affecting public health and people of all ages. With 20-40% prevalence of WRMD in the general population, ergonomics is an important issue. However, WRMDs are more common among surgeons than in the general population and lead to many occupational accidents and absences [5; 9; 14; 21].


The topic of ergonomics and ergonomic and back-friendly work is important in all work areas in order to protect the health of employees. Innovations in the workplace for better ergonomics have been reported for years, especially in industry, while challenges still exist in medicine [4; 14]. Ergonomic workplaces are very important in industry as they contribute to increased quality, quantity and improved health [11].

Various studies, e.g. in packaging plants, in production or even in the military, have shown that ergonomic innovations and neutral posture promote employee health, increase efficiency, lead to less downtime, less loss of productivity and fewer performance errors and reduce WRMD contribute [2; 5; 6; 14; 17; 22]. Similar recognition and improvements in ergonomics to minimize the risk of WRMD and neutral posture are currently missing in the operating room [6; 22].



There are also growing health concerns in surgery: “This needs to change because how can we provide excellent care to the patient if we cannot maintain our own health and safety” [6]. The concept of physical health is therefore playing an increasingly important role among surgeons and prevention of MSDs among surgeons is necessary [10; 15]. New innovations can improve the working situation, increase medical standards and ensure patient safety [11]. 

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