March Madness is a Wellness Activity

March 16, 2015


College basketball’s March Madness tournament is upon us.  Stories abound as to its cost to businesses.  A popular belief is that employees, distracted from work because they are following their bracket sheets, are less productive.  I am here to offer a dissenting opinion - March Madness is actually a wellness-promoting activity!


A California-based staffing firm, OfficeTeam, surveyed 300 senior managers at companies with more than 20 employees.  The survey results suggest that March Madness may even benefit a work environment.  Here are some of the findings:

  • 32% of managers said the tournament boosts employee morale

  • 27% said they felt March Madness has a positive impact on worker productivity

  • 62% said the tournament has no effect on productivity or morale

  • 7% said the tournament had a negative effect on morale

  • 11% said it negatively affected productivity

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have run a pool for family and friends for a number of years.  It has become a holiday-like event that connects people over three fun-filled weeks, and promotes a connection that lasts throughout the year.  It attracts a wide demographic, and sports knowledge is not a prerequisite – case in point, a sister-in-law picked all “16” winners on the first day of competition!


Social events can have a very positive affect on the wellbeing, morale and even the productivity of the workforce.  Gallup’s Tom Rath, in “Well Being”, suggests that we need at least six hours of social time every day to maximize wellbeing and minimize stress and worry.  This includes time socializing with family, friends and colleagues at home, work, or via phone, email and social media.  If you can achieve that without March Madness, good for you.  But, please be nice to those of us who choose to get our six hours from hoops hysteria!


“Shoot” For Six!


M. J. 


M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: or email M. J. directly at:


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