Sitting at a Desk: My Pilates Journey

Sitting at a Desk is the eighth post in a series called “My Pilates Journey” where Mary writes about her experience as she begins Pilates sessions with Chris Blagdon at the Edinburgh Pilates Centre. Click here to read about the first class. 

sitting at a desk

In between the 7th and 8th class, there was a break between the two for a holiday. We’ve all been in the position where we have returned to emails and work that means you are tied to your desk for longer than usual to catch up. When you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time, it is natural to start to hunch over. This has a negative impact on your posture, which can lead to other issues, and reduces the space that the lungs have to breathe. As you can’t breathe as deeply, your energy levels deplete and can increase your anxiety levels. Studies have shown that being sedentary for this long has a negative impact on your physical also. It has been linked with health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to combat these health problems head on. Pilates is an excellent example and I found myself very eager for the 8th session. To begin with, principles of Pilates such as breathing and centering allows you to inhale and exhale fully, reducing stress and creating more energy. The exercises themselves strengthen and help to correct your posture so that the impact of sitting at your desk all day is significantly reduced. For myself, through Pilates, I’ve become more aware of how I hold my body. When I am at my desk, this means that I am able to adjust my positioning so that it doesn’t cause creaks and cracks later on in the day.

For those that struggle with pains from sitting at their desk all day, working with a Pilates instructor like Chris who can give advice and tailor your session to you will help you more than a mat Pilates class. Chris is able to give great advice about how to combat pains in the day in accordance with your daily schedule.

The exercise of the week:

Starting lying on your back with your feet tucked into something to hold them, put your arms above your head with a wooden pole.

Step 1: Inhale, exhale, tighten your abdominals and bring the pole up in line with your vision.

Step 2: Engage your latissimus dorsi and rise up slowly towards your feet.

Step 3: Exhale and push the pole forwards with your legs straight to stretch your hamstrings. Inhale and return to the seating position with your legs straight. Exhale and push forwards again.

Step 4: Inhale and take yourself back to the starting position slowly.

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