Pilates  is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. Pilates called his method “Contrology“. It is practiced worldwide, especially in Western countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States. Pilates developed in the aftermath of the late 19th century physical culture of exercising in order to alleviate ill health.

A study undertaken by the Australian Federal Government was published in 2015 based on research up to 2013. The conclusion of this review was that there was only limited evidence to support the use of Pilates to alleviate problems such as lower back pain.

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