Stress, lack of exercise and chronic fatigue plagues the typical 9 to 5 office worker. Breathing shallowly and perpetually slouching, they suffer from what some people call Occupational Overuse Syndrome. By correcting posture, movement and breathing patterns, Pilates, with its targeted repertoire of exercises, transforms robotic office clones into vibrant, healthy and functional human beings.
The Woes of Technology
Modern technology helps and hinders us. It helps us by quickly retrieving information, and we don’t even have to leave our desks to find it. Gone are the days of going into the other office, standing up or bending down to look through files. Therein lies the problem.
These prolonged periods of sitting impair our circulation, whilst destroying our posture and reducing our muscle tone. Slumping in front of a computer for hours on end creates muscular imbalances, which overwork some muscle groups and under-work others. Sitting for long periods tightens and shortens the psoas muscle, making it difficult to lift your knee toward your chest. Your hip flexors also tighten, whilst your butt muscles weaken.
Sustaining the Slump
Meanwhile, the constant slouching sends your abdominal and deep core muscles on permanent vacation. Then, there’s the head and neck alignment. Office workers spend hours gazing at a computer screen, then return home to post on their favorite social network. This usually creates a kyphotic head‐forward posture, which is recognized by overly tight trapezius muscles and shortened pectoral muscles. The neck muscles grow tense, and triggers stress and headaches.
The typical corporate slump also disrupts the correct position of the spinal cord, which in turn interrupts the flow of signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Concentration becomes difficult. Some office workers feel as if they have become old before their time.
Crossed Legs Are Not Sexy
Some office workers sit for hours with crossed legs, thereby cutting off circulation, compressing one side of the body and over stretching the other. This habit causes back problems, while impairing the ability to engage your deep core muscles.
The Pilates Solution
Pilates exercises, especially at the fundamental level, can counteract muscle imbalances, minimize pain and create a more balanced body. Exercises such as the knee fold maintains flexibility in the psoas muscles and hip flexors, while the series of arm circles and scapular manipulations reduce neck and upper back tension.
Pilates also helps correct the faulty breathing patterns, which populate the workplace. Poor breathing implies a constant oxygen shortage, which limits the ability to concentrate and triggers migraine headaches. The relaxation resulting from Pilates exercise also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which minimizes stress and anxiety.
Clinical Pilates is not just about the exercises. Your instructor will teach you how to apply the exercises to your daily life activities, resulting in reduced pain and stress, and greater freedom of movement.
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