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Although our primary business is payroll, our SmartPayroll team are conscious about OOS (occupation overuse syndrome). A lot of New Zealand businesses spend their time in an office, at a desk, in front of a computer screen.


Signs of OOS

  • Muscle strain and discomfort
  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Muscles tightness and spasms
  • Numbness and tingling (pins and needles)
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and fatigue

Causes of OOS

  • Uncomfortable or unsupportive seating postures
  • Repetitive movements
  • Prolonged muscle tension
  • Poor ergonomics – seating and desk height/angle, keyboard and mouse set up, lighting, posture, footing
  • Poor work practices eg: poor time management, poor work techniques, poor work setup
  • Psychosocial factors eg: excessive workload, deadlines, mis or underemployment

 Treatment of OOS

  • Breaks from tasks
  • Changing work practices
  • Postural correction
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Exercise and stretching every hour
  • Relaxation and meditation exercises

Prevention of OOS

  • Introduce ergonomic workstations
  • Time and workload management evaluation
  • Evaluate work environment eg: good (natural) lighting, acoustics
  • Train staff about OOS
  • Have an occupational health nurse evaluate staff’s workstation
  • Take a break when discomfort is felt
  • Maintain correct posture and stretch regularly
  • Take regular breaks
  • Manage stress levels
  • Avoid prolonged, repetitive movement or activity


More information can be found here.