Pilates at the workplace. For office workers

Pilates at the workplace. For office workers
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Pilates at the workplace
For office workers

This is a very broad category that includes many professions and activities. However, all these people are united by the posture in which they spend a significant part of working and extracurricular time - sitting at the computer or just at the table.
This category may also include students, cashiers, pianists and other professions.

 Let's take a look at the position in which you are most likely sitting
 And now let's look at your health   Waht should you do? The result will not wait long
- You are sitting with your legs crossed and shifting the body weight on one side of the pelvis?

Note that you cross legs with  one leg on top more often than the other one.

Even if you change the position of the legs, you stay in that opposite position less time.


You have an asymmetry of the body (one hip or shoulder is  higher than the other one, your head is slightly turned or tilted to the side)..

Perhaps you feel pain near the sacrum (a rather sharp pain, sometimes with a bad ache in the leg, you may feel the  cramping in your feet or calves, but more often on the same side.

Heels on your shoes do not tread down the same way, perhaps one foot is slightly in-toed or the bone of the big toe grows.

There may be pain usually in  one knee, dislocations and sprains in the ankle, also on the  same side.

 We have talked many times about the importance of instilling the habit of correct location of the body in space.

We remind about this rule in almost every material we offer. But the habit to cross legs is much stronger.

Now just try to watch yourself and once you have noticed that you do THIS, change your position opposite to the one you prefer (if you want to put your right leg on top, put the left one instead).

After a while you will feel uncomfortable and you will automatically and unconsciously take the habitual position again. Do not worry. You are forming a new habit. This will take some time.

Change the position into the  opposite one again. When you get tired of this, teach yourself to put both feet on the floor, as shown on the picture.

Gradually, scoliosis and imbalances of the body will become less noticeable.

The described above  discomfort will also decrease, or perhaps completely  disappear

  -if the legs are not crossed, as in the previous case, then you are sitting with   your pelvis tilted so that the lower back sags, experiencing excessive load.

The abdominal muscles are relaxed. The abdomen is even slightly sticking out, although while standing this may not be noticeable (yet).

 Such a position of the spine    affects the state of the intervertebral discs adversebly. This particularly affects the lumbar.
This zone, depending on the location of the largest compression effect, is associated with the development of pain in the internal organs, and may lead to such problem as enuresis.

Disc prolapse is possible,
that entails a bunch of problems. In the end, even if none of the above horrors happen, a discomfort in the lower back appears.

This leads to a malfunction of the Center muscles, which perform a specific function in the body.

The body becomes more vulnerable, there is a risk of injuries out of blue

 Sit straight, so as to feel the bones of the pelvis. Distribute your body weight equally. Pay attention to the pubic bone and the tailbone, they should  go down to the seat equally.

Now carefully place one  vertebra over the other, the top will be over the coccyx. Holding the neutral position of the body, we begin to train the muscles that help you to make this position habitual and comfortable. We are talking about the muscles of the Center.

If you put a yoga block or a small ball between your knees it will  help you to involve the muscles of the Centre,. You can use a pillow, a rolled up towel, etc.

Its diameter shoud help to keep the feet and knees hip-width, carrying a slight compression of the subject with the hips.

By the way Kegel exercises will be very helpful. You may find a lot of them on the internet.

 Beside the fact that in two weeks the body will become much slimmer, the pain in loin area will  diminish, and perhaps disappear at all,

the internal organs will stop to fall down and get a decent blood supply that promises many pleasant effects..

Another variant is a habit of sitting on the edge of the chair with the ankles crossed under the seat.

As a rule, this position compensates the previous one and it is inconvenient to sit like this for long time.

 Even a short stay in this position may result in many bad consequences

Sitting on the edge is usually accompanied by the uplift of the chest, which blocks the back muscles in the area of the lower ribs.

Anyway the unnecessary stress builds up there because of tight clothes

When you consider that breathing directly affects the whole body, the infleunce of this pose becomes  obvious. This place is the hardest
to reach during the development of Pilates breathing skill (lateral diaphragmatic breathing),

This position forces the body to get out of the balance, as it blocks the back, causing the emergence of the breast breathing, which can result in anxiety and concern.

 Nothing new. You need to sit straight. Pay attention to the state of the lower body muscles.
Tone them lightly and holding your stomach and chest still, take a few breaths, as if smiling with the lower ribs of the front and back part of the trunk (extending the chest) during the inhalation, and shifting the lower ribs toward the middle, pushing the air out of the bottom of the lungs.

It's quite a difficult exercise, but if you focus on the mechanics of exhalation and allow the inhalation to fill the free space of the bottom of the lungs, it becomes not too difficult to master it.
Joseph Pilates said, that in poder to inhale you need to exhale first

Try to play with a duration of exhalation and inhalation. Breathe in couning to 3 and exhale counting to

Do 5-10 of these breath cycles. Then go back to your comfortable rhythm.
In this way, you will quickly bring yourself to a still and  concentrated state of the  consciousness.

As a result, the tissues of your body will be better supplied with the oxygen, and the mind will become more docile and will distract the number of extraneous thoughts.

You will increase your efficiency.

Also you will make the life of your  kidneys easier, stop suffering from panic attacks and causeless worries, and keep your skin young for long.

The head moved forward.

The habit to press the phone to your ear with the shoulder or just tilt your head to the phone (usually to the same side)
 A lot of very unpleasant consequences may appear. The blocking of the neck and the top of the neck area muscles results in strong and constant tension of the throat,   tongue root, and, as a consequence of all the internal organs.
This can lead to headaches, sleep and brain activity disorders, chronic fatigue.

Breath pattern changes, it may become loud (sniffling) and shallow (the friction sound is in the head). This effects the whole organism negatively.
Suffice it to mention the high blood pressure, fits of anger, fatigue, and more.

This position of the head greatly increases the load on the intervertebral discs.
This seriously wears the spine down, affecting the whole body.
It may well be the cause of various abuses of the nerve roots, the occurrence of neuralgia, lumbago under the shoulder blades.

The effects are the same as in the previous paragraph, but additionally we get an imbalance of the right and left sides of the body, especially its upper part.

 Some simple actions relieve the tension of the neck area very effectively. Sit straight, tilt your head forward as if a chin pushes the pedal, then lift the chin, dropping the back of the head to the shoulders.

Don't forget to relax the back of the neck. Repeat it several times. Now turn the head to the right and to the left. Hold the neck vertically, and the lower jaw parallel to the floor, turn the chin to the shoulder, trying to put it far back across the shoulder.
Do not tilt your head. Exhale and hold your breath in this position for 4-6 seconds. With the inhalation, turn your head to the middle. Now, do the same with the other side.

Only 3, 4 repetitions is enough for you to feel noticeable relief. Now the task is to keep the achieved ease. Do not let your head go back to the habitual forward position.

Try to train yourself to have your head over a bowl of the pelvis. Chin, nose and xiphoid have should be at about the same vertical line.
inhaling, raise your shoulders to your ears, as you exhale lower them by moving the shoulder blade down to the pelvis, but not to the spine.

try to push the top of your head up to the ceiling. The exercise looks like sliding the vanes up to the ears and down

 Watch yourself.
Do not allow your head, to go forward.
The balanced state of the muscles in the neck area is responsible for normal blood circulation.

You will significantly improve your efficiency and health, a feeling of heaviness will  disappear, the energy will  increase.

The external effects are the improved complexion and reduced number of the facial wrinkles, especially gloomy ones  and the ones caused by  pain.

The effects may be unexpected up to the improvement of the hearing or sight on  one side.

The proposed exercise helps  to take the pressure off the neck area, which helps to relieve fatigue, leads to better health in general

The upper part of the body is slouched,  the rib cage is behind the pelvic bones.

The breathing is shallow, you often sigh, yawn, can not concentrate, feel sad, depressed.

Sit straight, as described above.

Put your hands together in front of the chest, drop the elbows down. Try to keep the  top of the head above the coccyx and relax the neck muscles. Pull your navel to  the spine, relax your feet.

Now exhale and hold the abdomen taut, inhale, turning the torso to the right. Exhale and turn to center. Next time, turn the torso to the left, exhale - return to center.

Make sure that the abdomen remains equally taut during the exhalation and inhalation. Try to turn only the chest. The pelvis is stable.
Head, shoulders and arms turn  only because they "ride" on the chest. Nose and hands always remain on the central line.

 This is a very useful exercise.
It allows you to keep the mobility of the spine, to deepen your breath.

By bringing the vertical axis of the body in proper condition you will feel relief and relaxation of the upper body.

And also, by regular exercising  your waist and abdominal muscles will become more  noticable

We have considered only the most common variants of sitting at the table. In some of them you might feel comfortable, the rest can be not peculiar to you. However, in order to unload the spine and relieve the fatigue it is better to implement all the  recommendations and exercises presented here, especially since it takes only a couple of minutes. Try to do them 2 times a day, and most importantly, watch yourself, do not let your body take the habitual, not natural position.

Of course, the proposed recommendations should not be considered as a full training. They can only temporarily relieve the fatigue. But even if you regularly attend a gym, it does not guarantee you the absence of discomfort arising from long-term sitting in unnatural position. In any case, the wrong sitting (standing, lying etc) is a habit that needs to be replaced with the healthier one.

The following sequence of exercises would be optimal:
- Forming a vertical axis
- Kegel exercises
- Lifting and lowering the shoulder blades (3-5 times)
- Head turns (3.4 pairs)
- Body turns (6-8 pairs)
- Breathing exercises
However, you can do them in any suitable combination, taking a straight sitting position initially.

Here is what can be referred to more radical methods of ridding yourself from the described troubles. Simply replace the chair with the usual big ball, which you can buy at sport goods stores. The size of the ball is chosen according to your height. When you sit on it your knees should be at the same height as the hips, but not higher. The stores sell sizes 45, 55, 65, 75, 85 cm so it will not be difficult to choose the proper one.
The ball should not be pumped too much. Leave it soft but resilient.
It is also possible to have a Foam Roller in the office.

Simply lie on it for a few minutes and it will significantly reduce the compression of the intervertebral discs (lengthen the spine), remove the neck and back load, relieve the headache.

Be attentive to yourself. The eternal "all hands on deck" at work will not get worse, if you start feeling better. On the contrary, good health will add strength and help to avoid the overload.


Autor: Kateryna Smirnova
Translation: Galyna Dobrovolska
Contact Us: info@fitness4you.ua
+38 095 051 89 41

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