[Purpose] This study attempted to examine whether Pilates is an effective exercise for improving the postural alignment and health of middle-aged women. [Subjects and Methods] The participants in this study were 36 middle-aged women (20 in the experimental group, 16 in the control group). The experimental group participated in Pilates exercise sessions three times a week for 12 weeks. Body alignment and composition measurements before and after applying the Pilates exercise program were performed with a body composition analyzer and a three-dimensional scanner. [Results] Postural alignment in the sagittal and horizontal planes was enhanced in the Pilates exercise group. Trunk alignment showed correlations with body fat and muscle mass. [Conclusion] The Pilates exercises are performed symmetrically and strengthen the deep muscles. Moreover, the results showed that muscle mass was correlated with trunk postural alignment and that the proper amount of muscle is critical in maintaining trunk postural alignment.
Keywords: Middle-aged women; Pilates exercise; Postural alignment.