Helpful resources from the Macquarie Physiotherapy Team

Office Ergonomics – Part Two

As promised in Back to the Office Part One, below are some stretches we find helpful to ease the tightness in your muscles, along with a brief background on the muscles they are trying to address.


  • The trapezius muscle group originates from the:
    • Base of the skull.
    • Vertebrae at the bottom of the neck.
    • Vertebrae of the mid back.
  • They travel from there to insert on the:
    • Edge of the collar bone.
    • Point of the shoulder.
  • Together they have a role in moving the shoulder blade upwards, downwards, and backwards.
  • Clinically we find that people doing a lot of sitting and computer work develop tightness in the upper section of this muscle group (upper trapezius). This part of the muscle can refer pain into several areas including the:
    • Side of the head.
    • Base of the skull.
    • Side of the neck.
    • Top of the shoulder.

Levator Scapulae

  • This muscle originates from the:
    • Vertebrae of the upper neck.
  • It travels from there to insert on the:
    • Inside of the shoulder blade.
  • It has a role in moving the shoulder blade upwards.
  • As with the upper trapezius, this is a muscle we find can be particularly tight in people spending a lot of time stuck behind a computer screen. This muscle can refer pain into the:
    • Base of the neck.
    • Top of the shoulder.

The Stretches

Here is a short video of the a couple of stretches we find beneficial for these muscles:

If you have suffered an injury or are experiencing pain please follow up with your doctor or a qualified health professional for an appropriate assessment prior to beginning any type of exercise or treatment program.

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