Sitting and Pilates, is it really possible? Do you sit often and stare at a computer screen or phone? Do you get up from your desk just to move? And when you do get up, do you feel stiffness in your back, shoulders, or neck? You’ve heard sitting is the new smoking but do you know why? Is there a way to sit and do Pilates? What is standing Pilates? Read to find out how to move while working at your desk and stand to move and stretch!
One of the reasons is you’re made to move! Humans desire to wander and be active, it’s in your nature. So now that you work from home and socially distance you notice how little you do move. And now you wonder what to do about it!
Why good posture matters when sitting:
Sitting leads to slouching and that compresses our lungs making it difficult to breathe. Our organs are meant to be stacked one on top of the other and sitting makes them unhappy. You want your organs to be happy so they function properly. Try to sit on top of your sit bones. What are your sit bones? You feel these bones when you sit on a hard surface like a bench or a wooden chair at the base of your pelvis. Cushioned chairs prevent us from feeling the sit bones and lead to lower back pain. While intensely working on a project on the computer you tend to lean in and forward. This leads to eye strain and rounded shoulders which creates shortened chest muscles and overstretched upper back muscles. Read more about the health effects of sitting for long periods here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
Not to worry though! I have ways for you to feel better after reading all of that information. Pilates is typically done on a mat or using the equipment. If you search Pilates equipment you see various pieces that look scary, intimidating, or from a circus. The good news is sitting and Pilates can be done without any equipment and without a mat!
When I used to work in an office and started doing Pilates I found myself wanting to stretch more often. I was in a cubicle and I worried it would look weird to stand up and do a roll down around my other cubemates. So I actually went into the handicap stall of the bathroom to do one against the wall! There’s no reason to be ashamed of moving your body when it needs it and my hope is more businesses put an emphasis on movement in the workplace.
Sitting and Pilates:
In the meantime let’s start with how you can stretch and move in between phone calls, emails, and meetings! Try the two videos below, the first one includes movements while sitting with finger exercises to help with long periods of typing and using a mouse.
Standing and Pilates:
Next try the same exercises standing. You don’t need any Pilates experience to do any of these exercises!
Do these if you have trouble laying down on the floor. The motion focuses on moving your spine in all directions- forward, back, side to side, and rotationally.
After you try these tell me how you feel in the comments! Schedule a Pilates session today– virtual or in-person- to work on your individual movement goals.