The hottest topic for HR departments today is the need to improve productivity in the workplace and ensure all staff are working at peak efficiency. Everyone understands that a busy working life creates enormous pressures that affect our health, our posture and our wellbeing but, until recently, few people considered the effects of stress on our working efficiency. Stress and poor posture can have a debilitating effect on how we think, how we feel and how we produce our work. Stress can certainly stifle creativity and diminish our energy levels, robbing us of our vitality. Stress creates tunnel vision, narrowing our perspective and adversely affecting our judgement.
But long-term stress can also lead to health problems and more companies are looking for strategies to combat this unwanted side-effect of modern life. Feeling well means more than simply being able to cope with the stresses and strains of our high-tech, industrialised society.
Wellness means having the energy to enjoy life to the full and maintaining optimum health. It also means being able to function well at work and handling our responsibilities to the best of our abilities. Too many people are sleep-walking through life, struggling to cope with the pressures of work, unable to maintain a normal family life and express their potential. Fortunately, life does not have to be like this.
The search for an effective answer to these problems has led many companies to introduce planned exercise sessions into the workplace but not the usual grimly monotonous gym-based routines that were popular twenty years ago. The modern approach to releasing stress and encouraging great posture draws on the well-established techniques of Pilates, a complete exercise system that has revolutionised the way people think about their bodies and their wellness needs.
Rather than forcing people to adopt inappropriate and potentially damaging physical exercises, the Pilates techniques encourage a gentle release of tension in the critical back and neck muscles whilst developing strength in the deeper, supportive muscles of the abdomen. The result is a completely different way of sitting, standing and moving, relieving strain from the back and producing a more comfortable, natural way of using the body.
The techniques work with the body’s most natural way of controlling posture. Pilates students are encouraged to breathe, deeply and powerfully, re-energising the body and encouraging better brain function. Most of us are barely breathing enough to maintain life let alone energise the body and mind. Learning how to breathe properly can have an extraordinary influence on our health, our energy levels, our emotional state and our wellbeing.
Bringing these methods into the workplace has never been easier.
Companies invite Corporate Specialist Pilates Trainers into their offices to guide their staff through a series of well-coordinated movement and flexibility exercises which systematically release tension in the head, neck, back and shoulders and improve overall fitness and posture. Combined with elegantly simple breathing and stretching techniques, it’s no surprise that Pilates is one of the fastest growing exercise methods inside offices today.
More and more companies are realising the advantages of promoting health and wellbeing amongst their staff and it’s no surprise that medical professionals often refer patients to Pilates classes to rehabilitate postural problems. These amazing techniques that were originally only accessible to a handful of fortunate devotees are now available to increasing numbers of employees in their place of work.
Fortunately, the techniques do not require any specialised equipment which means that a conventional office space can easily be adapted for a convenient lunch-time or early evening exercise session. Loose, comfortable clothing which allows for freedom of movement is the only accessory required for a great class. Most companies opt for a twice-weekly programme but it’s important to adapt the schedule to each individual company’s requirements.
Its important that employesr choose a corporate pilates specialist that offers the following benefits:
- Internationally certified teachers
- Local comprehensive corporate exercise insurance for all risks
- A competent organisation with ability to change teachers urgently in the event of teacher illness or holiday
- A varied and flexible movement program to suite all types
- Different teachers and teaching styles to avoid boredom
- Executive designed classes for highly stressed senior management
One such organisation, The Parry Pilates Corporate Wellness Team, is based in Brussels and has been providing their unique blend of Pilates and anti-stress techniques to companies for the past five years. During this time, their corporate client base has grown by over 1000% although many companies also make use of the Wellness Team’s expertise in providing Motivational and Personal Empowerment Programmes.
The connection between our posture and how we feel has been well established for thousands of years. Modifying our posture can produce extraordinary changes in how we think, feel and perform our tasks. Ultimately, these improvements in our behaviour add up to improvements in our performance, allowing us to tap into deeper layers of energy and creativity. The results can lead to a dramatic reduction in pain, a calmer, more powerful outlook on life and a satisfying increase in personal happiness and productivity.