Not all Chairs are Bad for You!
Chairs had become the symbol of our modern sedentary age.
We all know that spending too much time sitting in chairs is bad for us.
Personally I was never part of the "Sitting Is The New Smoking" movement that swept the media (just google it if you missed the hype), and that is because it's not the actual sitting but the 'staying in one position for a long period of time' that is unhealthy for us and wrecks our bodies.
Up until the 18th-19th centuries, throughout its long evolution, the chair had persistently been associated with power: royalty, political power and religion. The popularity of chairs seem to have began with the new reclining culture imported from the French court of the 18th century, and continued to grow throughout the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution.
Toward the end of the 19th century, as a second wave of a technological revolution gathered pace with inventions such as the typewriter, telegraphy and the expanding uses and applications of electricity, the labour market also began to change. The new category of office clerks were the fastest-growing occupational group.
We now live in a world where chairs are everywhere! Like air pollution, chairs are becoming almost impossible for modern humans to avoid.
Desk-sitting sedentary workers are now the majority and other leisure activities have grown around us: from reading to radio to cinema to TV right into gaming, streaming and generally increased 'screen-time'.
We drive (car-seat) everywhere, sitting for hours in traffic in our daily commutes and when we go out we sit at pubs & restaurants. Modern life presents us with a bouquet of sedentary behaviours where we are sedentary (in chairs) for about 9.5 hours per day which means we're inactive for about 75% of our time.
With bodies that adjust to our surrounding and adapt to what we need (i.e. what we usually do) we find ourselves in the "Use it or Lose it" paradigm of what our bodies can do comfortably, easily, fluently without stiffness, soreness or pain. The chair have become the symbol of our modern sedentary life but it really is not about the chair but about using our bodies and moving our bodies so they serve us better for longer.
Pilates had built a chair that help us move our bodies, build strength, stability and balance us so that we get the most out of our bodies and keep them strong & healthy.
Joseph Pilates (1883 - 1967) witnessed the changes of how people work and move in their lives, wrote and warn about the risks and health repercussions of sitting at the desk all day and not taking care of our bodies. He was saying all this back in the 1930s but no one seem to have listen . "I'm 50 years ahead of my time" is one of the famous quotes of Pilates - well seems it took us longer then 50 years to finally hear what he was saying.
Pilates not only wrote his ideas, he built apparatus to spread his method and the Pilates Wunda Chair was one of them. Watch the videos below to see the demos he had filmed to demonstrate how he envisioned the use of his chair in the home and teaching and showing the chair exercises: