The Independent Newspapers Limited study: an investigation into occupational overuse syndrome within the newspaper industry : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
An investigation was undertaken into occupational overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are commonly associated with repetitive movements, sustained or constrained postures, and forceful movements. Other factors, such as work environment, amount of keyboard use, and the ergonomic status of the work area, have been identified as elements in the development of overuse injuries. These perspectives were used to provide research objectives in studying a sample of subjects working in the newspaper industry. Five hundred and seventy five respondents completed a questionnaire, which included a measure of the incidence and severity of overuse injuries, and questions aimed at discovering the effectiveness of different types of treatment and intervention strategies. Using a combination of descriptive and bivariate statistics, this data was analyzed. The analysis revealed low levels of reported muscular aches and pains. Of those subjects who did report some form of ache or pain, the majority answered that the level of their aches and pains had remained the same. As well, the image of the aetiology of overuse injuries which emerged, was in contradiction to much of the proceeding research in this area. The analysis also demonstrated that the treatment and intervention strategies being employed were ineffective. This was despite the fact that subjects often reported that they considered a particular strategy to be productive in managing their overuse injury. In the discussion section, the limitations of the questionnaire as a survey technique in this area of research was considered, and the possible effects these limitations have on the present study. This point has special relevance to the application of clinical models of overuse injury. It was concluded that the results demonstrated a need for research into effectively manipulating working conditions to counter-act the development, incidence and severity of overuse injuries. Such strategies as job enlargement and job rotation were suggested.