Dentists have greatest health risks of all

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Dentists have greatest health risks of allUsually when people think of dental risk they’re thinking about the patients. Yet, the Independent has found that the profession with the highest health risks is dentist.

The Independent analysed 974 occupations in the US department of Labor database, giving each a score out of 100. The scoring system uses six O*NET measures of health risks —“exposure to contaminants; exposure to disease and infection; exposure to hazardous conditions; exposure to radiation; risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings; and time spent sitting.” Each factor is ranked from 0 to 100, the higher the score, the higher the risk involved.

Dentists, dental surgeons and dental assistants ranked at number one with the highest overall score of 65.4.

The top 3 health risks for dentists are:

  1. Exposure to contaminants: 84
  2. Exposure to disease and infections: 75
  3. Time spent sitting: 67

The only thing dentists can do about exposure to contaminants, disease and infections is to make sure they carefully follow health and cleanliness guidelines. However, time spent sitting is negotiable. Here are some tips to get you moving:

  1. Make sure you get up and stretch between patients to decrease back and neck cramping.
  2. Use a higher desk that can be stood at rather than sitting for your admin work.
  3. When a new patient arrives, go out to greet them rather than waiting for them to be ushered in.
  4. Use your lunch break to take a short walk, increasing your distance a little further each day.
  5. Try taking yoga or using the ‘Alexander method’ to reduce the common back and neck problems found in dentists.
  6. Get a pedometer and set yourself a step goal each day—try and reach 10,000.
  7. Hop off the bus a stop early or park your car a little further from the surgery and walk in.

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