, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1268-1274
Date: 20 Jul 2006

Application of ergonomic guidelines during minimally invasive surgery: a questionnaire survey of 284 surgeons

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This study aimed to obtain an answer for the question: Are ergonomic guidelines applied in the operating room and what are the consequences?


A total of 1,292 questionnaires were sent by email or handed out to surgeons and residents. The subjects worked mainly in Europe, performing laparoscopic and/or thoracoscopic procedures within the digestive, thoracic, urologic, gynecologic, and pediatric disciplines.


In response, 22% of the questionnaires were returned. Overall, the respondents reported discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and back (almost 80%). There was not one specific cause for the physical discomfort. In addition, 89% of the 284 respondents were unaware of ergonomic guidelines, although 100% stated that they find ergonomics important.


The lack of ergonomic guidelines awareness is a major problem that poses a tough position for ergonomics in the operating room.