The practice of Pilates has clear benefits in the workplace. Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to impaired circulation, poor posture, and poor muscle tone. Working in front of a computer for hours at a time tends to result in the development of muscle imbalances. These imbalances often cause low back pain—one of the leading causes of corporate worker absenteeism. Pilates exercises, and particularly the fundamentals, can help to counteract muscle imbalances, reducing pain and helping to create a more balanced body. They also help prevent workplace injury due to their focus on proper body mechanics, correct movement patterns, and proper breathing techniques.
The corporate setting can be a very stressful one. Pilates is a mind-body exercise that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering adrenaline and cortisol levels and promoting a more relaxed state. It also emphasizes proper breathing, which helps lower heart rate and blood pressure, promotes clear thinking, and immediately relieves stress and anxiety. Pilates is a great way to take a break to focus on yourself so that you can return to your work with greater intensity and focus.
For many corporate employees, the maintenance of individual health is often seen as a difficult challenge amidst competing demands of the workday, family responsibilities, and other social obligations. Employees often see a workplace health program as an investment made by their company for their well-being and a reflection of how much the company cares about them.
Both individual employees and employers can derive economic benefits from improved health. For employees, improved health can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for physician office visits, medications, procedures, or hospitalizations related to acute or chronic illness or injury. Improved health may also enhance job security because the employee is more productive, absent less often, and more likely to avoid short- or long-term disability. Employers can benefit from workplace health programs through enhanced productivity, decreased employee absenteeism, and lower insurance and workers’ compensation costs.
Additionally, workplace health programs are increasingly seen as a core component of an attractive employee compensation and benefits package, which can be used as a recruitment and retention tool to attract and keep high-quality employees and maintain productivity and morale.
Pilates is the perfect addition to any workplace healthcare program. It helps to rebalance the body and counteract the prolonged sitting and high stress of the typical office job. The benefits of Pilates in the workplace translate into all areas of life, reducing muscle pain and strain, improving overall body awareness, and teaching us to move the body correctly in everything we do.