Principles of Motion Economy

Motion economy refers to the manner in which human energy is conserved while performing a task. The objective in all areas of the dental office, clinical, business or laboratory setting should be to minimize the number and magnitude of motions and conserve energy while working. Ask yourself the following questions: Simplification and reduction of body motions to simplify and reduce work content.

1. How many times do you turn your body or reach for an instrument?
reaching for equipment
2. Does the assistant eliminate operator stress by transferring the instruments and materials to the operator?
operator stress
3. Does the assistant have primary responsibility for transfer of materials and instruments or is the assistant often unoccupied while the dentist reaches for an instrument or changes a bur?
material transfer
4. Are the handpieces and instruments within a 21-inch radius of the assistant?
handpieces and instruments
5. Are these same ergonomic concepts applied to the dental business office to minimize unnecessary motion and reduce stress?
Preset Trays

Think about your daily activities and decide how you can modify the routine to reduce motion. Plan ahead to ensure all materials are prepared in advance in a motion effective environment. Perhaps it will be necessary to reorganize a procedure or rearrange materials to achieve this goal.

In the business office, examine the location of equipment and modify the location as necessary to reduce the need to reach or strain the body to gain access to commonly used materials and equipment.