When March Madness ends…

By now the storm of March Madness has overtaken offices and brackets have imploded with a 16 seed defeating a 1 seed for the biggest upset in tourney history.

Welcome to the time of year known as being the least productive time of year for the work place.   At least the first two weekends of the tourney, Thursday and Friday to be more specific.  We always wanted to have a 4 day weekend every week didn’t we?  

The office pool distractions of the tournament is a good thing for our bodies but probably not so good thing for work productivity (don’t tell the boss!).  It gets us out of the office chair and talking with our office mates rather than staring into computer screens.  

And as the tourney winds down, we will resume the endless hours in front of the screen leading to neck and shoulder tightness which can potentially bringing on dreaded tension headaches.

Ever find yourself extending your neck, slowly gravitating to the screen as your back C curves unnaturally as the day progresses? Not only does your neck and shoulders suffer, but your low back pays the price too.

Hints for work station ergonomics:1) SIT UP TALLAt first it seems unnatural, almost difficult to maintain that position.  Your body is so used to that “comfort” position that sitting up is a foreign concept.

By stacking your head on top of your shoulders, and your shoulders on top of your hips with your feet on the floor, you minimize any effects of gravity on your body.  Your muscles don’t need to exert themselves adversely trying to hold your head away from your center.

2) Rule of 90….degrees that is…Elbows, hips and knees at 90 degree angles as you sit.  You should look like a chair if you are doing it correctly.The chair look you are mimicking places your body parts into ideal biomechanical positioning for your body to function with minimal risk of “injury”.

3) Your screen should be directly in front of you with your eyeballs staring directly at the center of the screen.  If they aren’t, you need a monitor stand to raise the height of the monitor appropriately. 

Those are a few tips to help ease the tension.  Enjoy the rest of the “Madness”, it’s been a fun few weeks watching the Cinderellas knock off the big name schools.

If you are are still experiencing neck and shoulder issues, it doesn’t hurt to “Ask the PT” if there might be more going on than just poor posture and less than ideal ergonomics.

Dr. Jamie So

Jamie So, PT, DPT, is the owner and physical therapist of Manual Therapy Effects.


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