Health + Wellness

Can you do Pilates if you suffer from osteoporosis?

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The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Asian Audit (published in 2009) reported that in 2006, approximately 55,000 Singaporean women over the age of 50 years suffered from osteoporosis. With an ageing population, these figures are expected to increase several-fold.

Osteoporosis is a bone condition characterised by low bone mass or decreased bone strength.

Furthermore, recent studies have noted that secondary osteoporosis is becoming more common than previously perceived, with the overall prevalence close to 50% in post-menopausal women and older men with osteoporosis.

So what is Pilates? It is a system of exercises performed either on a mat or special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, as well as enhance mental awareness.

How can Pilates benefit Osteoporosis patients?

According to a study, Pilates exercises seemed to benefit Osteoporosis patients. It does so by increasing an individual’s Bone Muscle Density (BMD) and improves walking distance. Regular practice is also beneficial to relieve pain and can enhance one’s quality of life (QOL).

In private Pilates classes, the sessions can be customised to suit the individual’s needs, fitness level and condition. Specifically, for individuals experiencing osteoporosis, private pilates sessions are preferred.

At the same time, if you do choose to attend Pilates Group Classes, slower paced, non-strenuous classes are available. These include Pilates Introduction Group Classes and Pilates ‘Stretch and Relax’ Group Classes. These classes are perfect for any senior-centric group class as the class will avoid performing sudden, jerky, uncontrolled movements. An additional important note is that you need to remember to work according to their own pace and own range.

As with any new exercise routine or therapy, a medical/ health therapist’s approval would be recommended.


This article was contributed by Maria Rosete from Advantage Pilates Singapore.

Advantage Pilates Singapore offers a variety of online, onsite and corporate Pilates group classes. One to one private sessions can be arranged according to the client’s schedule and based on Instructor availability. Check our website for more information.

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