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Dr Kit-lun Yick developing ergonomic bra for female dentists

A joint project by Dr Kit-lun Yick, Associate Professor of ITC and the German Academy of Dental Ergonomics (AGEZ) is being undertaken to develop an ergonomic bra for female dentists to ensure correct posture. The project started in July 2020.  The role of ITC in this project is to conduct scientific experiments to offer a bra design solution for female dentists that would enhance breast support and reduce protrusion.

Dr Yick explains that “This is a meaningful project initiated by the AGEZ.  Traditionally, the intimate apparel industry has only focused on the design of daily wear and sports bras.  Other needs have been neglected.  So when women wear a bra that is not suitable for their purpose, they may experience feelings of unease, anxiety and embarrassment.”

Female dentists are often leaning over a horizontally lying patient during treatment. The most ergonomic position  is to centre the head of the patient at breast height.  However, to ensure that they can see into the mouth of the patient, dentists may remain in a static position with a poor posture for several hours a day.  A good supporting bra is therefore important to facilitate a healthy work posture.

Dr Yick goes on to further explain that “Traditional wired bras used for breast shaping and reducing protrusion may lead to problems for female dentists as they restrict the line of sight to the mouth and the corresponding focus on the dental treatment.  Compression bras may also lead to lateral displacement of the soft breast tissues when both arms push outwards thus exerting additional load onto the shoulders.”

In this study, background information on the work environment of female dentists and bra related problems and discomfort will be investigated by using a questionnaire survey.  The next step is to conduct bra evaluations.  The interface pressure between the bra and the breasts at the bra shoulder straps, underarm, upper back, etc. will be evaluated by using a pressure measurement system.  The design features, material properties, and the pressure induced onto the body by a daily wear bra, a compression sports bra and an encapsulation sports bra will be compared and analysed. The corresponding changes in breast shape will also be measured based on 3D body scans.

A prototype bra which aims to minimize breast displacement and protrusion during dentistry work will be designed and developed in April 2021.

For details of the project, please click here.