Unless you just kicked your toe against the desk leg, chances are, you could be experiencing OOS.
Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) is one of the most common occupational health problems in the world. Also known as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), the term covers a range of musculo-skeletal problems.
OOS can be debilitating, and treatment is often ongoing. Many people suffering from one will need to be off work for extended periods. This of course impacts both workplaces and employees.
I am going to bring something else into the mix as well, something we are calling the Repetitive Zoom syndrome (or RZS? It's a bit of a mouthful but I haven't had a lot of time to think this over. Maybe we call it REZ syndrome). This may not be an official medical term you will hear at the doctor's office, but hey, we know it is real!
REZ syndrome is a relatively new phenomenon that has developed as a result of uncomfortable home and office working conditions. With fluctuating Alert Levels we couldn't meet our team or clients in person, so Zoom became the answer. Suddenly, we're are working from kitchen tables, with laptops on our knees on the couch, or on desks that has no ergonomic set up. Technically the 'REZ syndrome' is part of the same OOS definition of course, which is what we are focusing on below.
There are however ways to help prevent and manage these conditions.
To help you work smartly and safely, let’s look at what causes OOS (and the newly minted REZ syndrome), how to diagnose and treat it, and most importantly, how to prevent it.
What is OOS?
OOS can range greatly, but overall, they involve damage to muscles, ligaments or tendons throughout the body. Caused by repetitive movements or sustained awkward body positions, you will most often find the upper body is affected. That includes the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, neck and shoulders - particularly in an office environment.
Examples of OOS include tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow, although there are many more.