Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to help strengthen the core, strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve balance.  This low impact exercise is relatively safe for all ages.  Pilates has been used by dancers as well as used for rehabilitation purpose.  Pilates can be performed on the floor, or on a piece of equipment called a reformer.  There are chairs, balls, rings, and mats.  One of my favorites is the Balance Ball Chair or another name, Pilates Chair Ball.


This chair may not be for everyone, but if you have a bad back, it could be the answer for you.  Some of the advantages are:

  • The ball is not as stable as your standard chair therefore; your body needs to balance itself which helps to align your spine properly. This helps with back pain.
  • Your body is using your abdominal muscles or your core to balance, which helps you strengthen your abs.
  • Because you are moving around on the ball, more than you would if, in a stationary chair, you are improving your circulation (more blood flow throughout your body).
  • You feel more energetic when you are moving more.  You may find yourself bouncing on the ball during the day.

If you have an exercise ball around the house, try sitting on it at your desk to see if you like it.  This is all I use, although the Pilates chair holds the ball and has back support.  These chairs can be expensive, so shop around online for a good deal.  eBay is a great place to start.