As an organisation that thrives on our ability to innovate, you’d be right in guessing that things move pretty quickly at Orange Sky. 

But for the last few months, every Wednesday at 12pm, we’ve been rolling out our mats and stretching out our limbs in a group Pilates session. Just for a moment, we slow everything down and connect with ourselves.

Errol, our resident UX/UI Designer and un-official (but pretty official) office Pilates instructor, shares his story about his relationship with movement, and touches on the importance of staying mobile and connected whilst at work. Here’s Errol… 

Pilates came into my life 16 years ago as a result of an injury after falling while climbing a rock. As someone who is quite adventurous and loves trying everything, my body was my main tool and needed to be repaired immediately. 

I started to work with a personal trainer. When I first started, he focused only on simple weight training as my therapy, however he did convince me to join a Pilates class. As a young and naive person, I was skeptical of Pilates and yoga. Today, 16 years later, I am still grateful to my trainer for encouraging me and even guiding me to not only attend classes, but also to become an instructor.

Our body was designed in harmony with nature thousands of years ago. From those days to these days, especially after the industrial revolution, the way we use our body has changed a lot. For the last few decades, we have introduced ourselves to office life and fixed ourselves on our comfortable chairs and desks. While we may have adjustable desks, spine-supporting cushions, an unlimited source of chocolate and the opportunity to take a break during the day as we want, our body eventually wears out. 

I can easily say that as someone who has worked in an office for many years and spent a considerable part of the day looking at screens, I have suffered from back, shoulder and joint pain like everyone else. Since bringing Pilates into my life, I have eliminated fatigue, pain, sore joints, sleeping issues and many other problems related to my body.

Increasing your mobility also affects your quality of daily life. The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates said, “You are only as young as your spine flexibility.”

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise it is, what style or how we do it; we must get our bodies moving. Further to that, doing activities with friends or colleagues is one of the most important factors that strengthens team spirit and relationships.

Just like my trainer convinced me, I have convinced the team at Orange Sky to try out pilates and increase their flexibility. I knew that if I saw the benefits of pilates as an office worker, they would see it too. Especially in today’s world where lockdowns are the ‘new normal’, getting together for a short lunchtime pilates session is a great way to connect with each other, even if it over Zoom.

If you spend 5-6 hours of your day sitting in a chair in an office, you should strive to do stretch movements every hour. With some movements that are as simple as drinking water, you can increase your mobility and help to improve your quality of life. 

Inspired by Errol’s passion for Pilates? Here’s six stretches you should do if you’re sitting at a desk each day

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