Most desk chairs are not very well designed for sitting healthily, and the more you concentrate on your work, the harder it can become to keep your posture in mind.

When you sit at a desk for a long time, the tendency is to slouch onto the back of your sitting bones. This tires your back and causes the spine’s natural curves to become exaggerated or distorted. Your upper back becomes round (hunched) causing kyphosis and your lower back becomes compressed and stiff. Looking up at your screen from a slouch, your neck is overextended and can become stressed. 

It’s easy to see the impact of poor posture. Lower back ache, stiff shoulders and neck, headaches and low energy are all common symptoms. 

The great news is that Pilates can help enormously with this because it uses core principles in every exercise to address poor posture and elongate the spine, which relieves stiffness and, consequently, the resulting pain. For example, during all sitting exercises, attention is bought to the sitting bones. We learn to feel where they are and sit on them correctly. We explore ways of sitting that decrease lumbar lordosis (overarching) without flattening the lower back, and this keeps your lumbar spine in a strong position. We also use exercises to strengthen the muscles which support the thoracic (ribcage) spine and therefore optimise the dorsal curve. We focus on extending the top of the head upwards (therefore naturally drawing the chin down), which stops you from hyperextending your cervical (neck) spine and helps to prevent stiffness and injury. Of course, Pilates is best known for improving core strength, and once this is more developed, you’ll have all the tools you need to hold correct healthy posture with ease.

Hannah, who works in the HR department of an office we teach, told me, “Within weeks of starting Pilates I felt the benefits. Fewer aches and pains, more energy, and standing tall have given me confidence I’ve never felt before. The Breathe teacher was great in giving me lots of attention so that I got the exercises right and I remember her words and feel their impact not only when I’m sitting at my desk but when I’m cooking dinner or even reading my son his bedtime story.”

With thanks to Sophie, one of our brilliant Pilates teachers.

Would you like to try a Pilates class? Perhaps get your team some lessons – online or face to face? Please do get in touch with us any time on +44 20 8452 8322 or at info@breatheyoga.co.uk.