“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness,” posited Joseph Pilates in his book Return to Life Through Contrology, first published in 1945. A recent observational study of Pilates practitioners provides support for his position.
Researchers from Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro surveyed 74 Pilates practitioners. The purpose was to determine whether consistent practice of Pilates over time improved quality of life. Investigators divided participants into three groups: beginners (up to 3 months); experienced practitioners (over 1 year); and former participants (people who had quit practicing).
Experienced practitioners scored higher in physical function, in general health and in mental-health quality of life, compared with other survey participants. Study authors concluded that Pilates practice was associated with better quality of life.
The findings appeared in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2013; 17 , 483–87).