How Does Chair Pilates for the Elderly Work?


How Does Chair Pilates for the Elderly Work?

Bill: Chair Pilates is really a program of movement designed to work with people seated in a chair, but you’re really addressing four things. 

  • The movement or the exercise is designed to settle inflammation, you can use gentle movement to do that.
  • Increase flexibility – so for the back, you might bend left or bend right, which aren’t normal motions for people to go through, so chair pilates can help free up tight joints or tight muscles
  • Improve patterns of coordination – so raising the arms up into stopping type position isn’t a normal place for people to go but that takes quite a coordinated action through the shoulder.
  • Building strength and endurance – you might have someone push themselves up and down obviously to work on the strength in your arms.

By having someone guide you through chair based exercises, you’re really dealing with those 4 parameters. And then the creativity of the therapist is usually what brings that to light, makes it fun and enjoyable. Steve, you’ve been creative?

Steve: Yeah, all the time. I’d add just another parameter which you were discussing earlier. It was balance. So as you get older and become eldelry I think from 30 years old, we actually lose our balance. So having a chair next to you, especially for those elderly people who live alone, you’re gonna lose balance and would need to practice standing on one leg. 

For instance, it’s good to have a chair around to lean on so you don’t fall over. We’re trying to increase your stability and not have any accidents. So that’s probably one thing I would add, that one. Yeah, we do a lot of balance and using the chair as a lean-to.

Bill: Use it or lose it.

Steve: That’s right, comes from somewhere.

Bill: Yeah, the motion is the lotion… Should we keep going? No, maybe we should stop.