Happy Body Pilates: Top Tips For Improving Posture At Work

Top tips for improving posture at work

My name is Daire Guilfoyle and I run Happy Body Fitness and Pilates. Below I introduce the style of pilates I teach and also some tops tips for better posture whilst seated at your desk. I do hope you find it useful!

Happy Body Pilates:

Happy Body Pilates teaches a ‘realistic’ method of Pilates, meaning it is suitable for any body, age, ability. Based on the original principles developed by Joseph Pilates, the class is taught on a ‘less is more’ philosophy, focusing on positioning the body in optimal alignment and challenging the core muscles to perform a series of exercises whilst maintaining this alignment. A key alignment which many people are faced with executing for long periods of time is seated alignment. For many, their day job (myself included as I write this) can mean we spend the majority of our day sitting at a desk. The strain of sitting for long periods can cause us to develop poor posture, usually hunching over a computer and desk which leads to postural issues and muscle imbalances and both can lead to lower back pain. The good news is we can make small changes to our body alignment as we sit to improve our posture. It may seem uncomfortable at first as your muscles are not used to holding your body in a correct form but by applying the points below, you will achieve a correct posture which will help your lower back in the long run.

How to improve posture whilst seated:

  • Sit with your feet hip width apart and aim to have your weight evenly balanced through both feet.
  • Check you are in a neutral pelvis, you should allow the natural curve of your spine (try and find a middle position between complete flat back and overarching of the spine).
  • Slightly draw your navel towards your spine.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed (avoid allowing your shoulders to hunch up towards the ears).
  • Imagine you have a helium balloon on the tip of each ear which is drawing you towards the roof – lengthen through the back of your neck and retract your chin towards your chest.
  • You should now have improved your posture and be maintaining a proper seated body alignment.

  • Any time you feel gravity has forced you back into a slumped position, just remember your helium balloons! By placing your imaginary helium balloons on the tops of your ears, this will instantly ‘pull’ your body back up into a good alignment/posture.
  • Adjust your monitor/screen to suit your new alignment. Each time you sit at your desk, if your monitor seems out of position, PAUSE, think about putting on your helium balloons and this will lengthen your body back up into a good posture.
    I hope the above helps you to improve your posture whilst sitting at your desk. To learn more about Happy Body Fitness & Pilates you can follow the links below.

    Contact Happy Body Pilates

    Meet the Strathmore Team: Laura

    It’s our first round of ‘Meet the Strathmore Team’ and Laura is up first.

    Laura joined Strathmore back in January 2015 and now forms one half of our sales and marketing team. She is your first point of call for all sales enquiries and is always on hand to show our office spaces and chat through the options.

    So, let’s get to know Laura a little better and find out more about her role at Strathmore …

    Can you tell us a little more about your day to day role at Strathmore?
    No two days in the sales and marketing department here at Strathmore are the same. The main bulk of my days are spent handling sales enquiries, doing office viewings, and preparing new licences but I can also be called into sales development meetings or be helping with photo and video projects.

    What’s your favourite thing about working here?
    Being part of such a fantastic team. Predictable I know but we are a small team and it’s great that we all get along as well as we do.

    And what’s the trickiest part of your job?
    Organising the staff Christmas party!

    It’s 9am, you have just sat down at your desk, what’s the first thing you do?
    I always start the day with a cuppa while catching up on our social media pages.

    What is your go to office snack?
    We are on a snack embargo at present, but I love a chocolate digestive.

    Where is your favourite haunt for a post work drink?
    Copper Blossom, they do amazing cocktails, or anywhere that sells a good gin!

    And your favourite place to eat in Edinburgh?
    You can’t go wrong with a pizza from Pizzeria 1926 – the fritturina di pesce is to die for.

    Favourite TV series to binge watch? Be honest…
    I’m more of a Netflix girl. The last show I binged watched was ‘How to Get Away with Murder’.

    Favourite childhood TV show?
    The Moomins.

    And finally, your top holiday destination to date?
    I had an amazing trip to Italy last year which has definitely been a highlight but this may be overshadowed by visiting New York over Christmas this year.

    Thanks Laura!

    For any sales related enquiries, you can contact laura@strathmoreedinburgh.com or you can view Laura’s LinkedIn Profile here.

    Teaming up with ‘Balanced Edinburgh’

    Are you suffering from aches and pains?

    Balanced Edinburgh have teamed up with Strathmore offices to provide you with access to physiotherapy, sports/remedial massage, and osteopathy. Take advantage of 20% off initial assessments or book in for a free 15-minute consultation! We have a specialist team of practitioners who are able to provide a one stop shop for all your healthcare needs. We are Edinburgh’s leading Clinic for postural pain, persistent pain and sports injuries and can provide fast access to expert assessment and onward referral where needed to ensure that you get the fastest recovery possible.

    Book now and quote ‘Strathmore Offices’ for 20% off initial assessments!

    There is no need to see your GP first, just call or email the clinic and we can arrange an assessment. At Balanced we believe that early diagnosis and intervention is critical to prevent chronic pain developing. We work with all major insurance companies and so can provide rapid access to physiotherapy under your healthcare plan. We also run frequent workshops and events around Edinburgh, just check out our website for details.

    Services Provided:

    • Specialist Physiotherapy Assessment and Treatment
    • Sports and remedial massage
    • Osteopathy
    • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
    • Acute and Chronic pain management
    • Strapping for pain relief or Sports
    • Nutrition
    • Podiatry
    • Pilates
    • Onward referral where required

    Balanced Clinics

    While the offers for Strathmore clients will only be available at our Queen Street clinic please see a full list of locations below:

    Balanced Queen Street Clinic
    Royal Garden Apartments, 2 York Buildings, EH2 1HY

    Balanced Stockbridge Clinic
    1 St Bernards Row, Stockbridge, EH4 1HW

    Balanced Westwoods
    Fettes College, EH4 1RA

    Balanced Heriot Watt- Oriam
    Edinburgh Campus, EH14 4AS

    Balanced Barnton
    Greenkeepers Cottage
    The Royal Burgess Golfing Society
    181a Whitehouse Road, EH4 6BU

    To book an appointment please email info@balancededinburgh.co.uk or call 0131 315 3105. You can visit the Balanced website at www.balancededinburgh.co.uk

    Take Advantage of our Meeting Rooms

    Take Advantage of our Meeting Rooms

    Make a Great Impression

    Have you ever been tasked with organising an external get together or conference? There can be a lot to think about. Who is coming? Where will attendees be travelling from? Will we need access to presentation equipment? Will we need lunch? Will there be coffee … we always need coffee!
    Choosing to book a city centre meeting room through a business centre like Strathmore is a simple and hassle-free way to organise such an event.

    Whether you need space for 4 or 20 delegates you need only select the date, the perfect city centre location of your choice, communicate the requirements for the day and let the venue take care of the rest.

    It’s the perfect way to make a great impression and present a professional image whether you are looking to hold a small meeting, seminar, or training day.

    A Meeting Room with Strathmore

    At Strathmore we have a great selection of city centre meeting rooms available for hire on an hourly, half day or full day basis. Whether you wish to hold a small team or client meeting in our location at 91 George Street or host a larger event in our boardroom located just a few minutes’ walk from Waverley train station – the perfect choice if you have clients arriving into Edinburgh for the day.

    Our team will be on hand in the run up to your meeting to help with arrangements and will make sure everything is set up on the day. We can even arrange lunch from Social Bite ( http://social-bite.co.uk/ ) to be delivered if you wish!

    But don’t just take our word for it

    Read what Dorothy McKinney from Dorothy Mckinney Ltd has to say about our venues below:

    “From time to time I book meeting space and so far, even at the last-minute staff fit me in to one of the locations in Edinburgh. Reception staff are very welcoming on arrival and the rooms are always set up exactly as requested. My meeting guests are always impressed with the meeting rooms which reflects well on my business.

    Booking rooms is all done online so when I remember late at night that I need to arrange a booking I can just do it by email there and then and always get a response to confirm the booking very soon after business opens the next day.”

    For more information on booking a meeting room with Strathmore click here or you can call us directly on 0131 5231400 and we can chat through the different options.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    – The Strathmore Team

    Office Referral Campaign

    Strathmore Office Referral Campaign

    Do you know someone on the look-out for office space?

    Perhaps you have a friend who is weighing up the pros and cons of taking a private office and might like to have a chat and nosy around our spaces, or maybe you know of a company on the look out for a new base in Edinburgh?

    If so point them in the direction of Strathmore and we will be happy to discuss the different options across all four of our centres. We have a variety of office spaces and sizes to choose from, be it a smaller office for 2, a larger space for 8 or an even larger space for 20 with private meeting room facilities.


    Strathmore Office Referral

    That’s great but what’s in it for me?

    To say thank you we will award 10% commission for all successful office introductions. The commission received will be based on the office rental value for a 6-month minimum lease.

    For example, should your referral take an office at £2,000 PCM for 6 months you would receive £1,200 in commission.

    The referral process is nice and simple. All you need to do is contact sami@strathmoreedinburgh.com with the referral information and we will do the rest!

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    – The Strathmore Team

    Email Marketing by Ticketyboo Marketing

    Strathmore Edinburgh Email Marketing

    It’s a well-known fact that people are more inclined to do business with companies they have a good relationship with. Companies they know, like and trust. The thing is, this type of relationship doesn’t just happen overnight. It needs to be earned over time.

    Email marketing is a fantastic way to help you build these long-term relationships with your clients and prospects.

    Let me explain what I mean.

    Strathmore Ticketyboo Email Marketing Ladder

    This is a simple ladder of loyalty and it shows you the different types of relationships people might have with your company.
    Email marketing helps you move people up the ladder of loyalty.

    So for example, your prospects; people who are aware of your company and have shown interest in what you have to offer, but haven’t actually done business with you before, will decide to use you for the first time and become customers. Similarly, your customers will eventually become advocates; people who help spread the word about your fantastic product or service and hopefully win you lots of new business into the bargain.

    How to Move People up the Ladder of Loyalty

    The key thing to remember is that you don’t want to just sell, sell, sell at every given opportunity. People hate that and will quickly unsubscribe from your mailing list if you send them sales email after sales email.

    Instead of just selling all the time, try sharing useful and valuable information with your subscribers on a regular, but not obtrusive basis.

    So what are you actually going to write about in your emails?

    Well, it’s easy to take for granted what you already know, but the chances are, you are a fountain of knowledge when it comes to your industry. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Entertain and delight your subscribers with your expert knowledge.

    Let’s think of some examples.

    If you were a pet shop owner, you might segment your list and send your cat lovers an email to warn them about common household plants that are dangerous to cats (in case you didn’t know, lilies are highly toxic to cats).

    Or imagine you were a cookery school, you might email your subscribers about what knives a chef needs.

    Or if you were an online tea company, you might email your subscribers to tell them how to prepare the perfect cup of green tea. Or what teas go best with honey and why.

    So you’ve got your emails ready. What can you do to make sure you get the best return on your investment? How can you increase their conversion rate?

    Stand Out in the Inbox

    One of the first hurdles you need to overcome is to get people to actually open your emails in their inbox.

    Your emails will probably be competing with lots and lots of other emails in your subscriber’s inbox and so if your emails don’t really stand out in the inbox, then the chances are they won’t get opened. And if your emails don’t get opened on a regular basis, your subscriber will be more inclined to unsubscribe from your list when they eventually tidy up their inbox.

    All that hard work and money you put into getting that subscriber will have been for nothing. Don’t let that happen.

    Work That Subject Line!

    Turn bland and boring subject lines into something that your subscribers will want to actually click on and read.

    For example, if you were a coffee company and you were emailing your list about how to make an espresso, instead of just using “How to make an Espresso” as the subject line, you could use something like this “How to make an Espresso like a Barista.”

    Personalise Your Subject Line

    According to Campaign Monitor emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

    The great thing is, hardly anyone does it. So if you do personalise your subject lines, you’ll have a huge competitive advantage over your competitors who don’t do it.

    Subject Line Tip!

    Look at your own inbox and check which subject lines make you want to click on them. Make a note of them for later and then when you are preparing your next email, see if you can adapt any of the subject lines you have written down for your own means.

    Timing Is Everything

    Think about when you send your emails. The temptation once you’ve prepared an email is to just send it straight away, because you want to start seeing a return on your hard work as soon as possible.

    The truth is, it’s best to wait and send it at the best time. This way you’ll get a much better return on your investment.

    Strathmore Ticketyboo Email Marketing Timing

    Ideally you want to send your emails when your subscriber is most likely to be checking their inbox and ready to read their emails. This way your email will be at the top of the queue.

    What you don’t want is for your email to appear when your subscriber is away from their inbox for hours and hours on end and so lots and lots of other emails come in after yours.


    Because if this happens then the subscriber will have to scroll down and down to even have a chance of seeing your email and if they’re busy, they may not bother.

    CoSchedule did some research and they found that Tuesday is the best day of the week by far to send your emails and 10am is the best time.

    But my advice to you would be to test what works for you. You might find that there’s too much competition at this time, and actually another day / time works better for you.

    Also, think about who you’re emailing.

    For example, if you’re a recruitment company and you’ve segmented your list and you’re emailing your night shift candidate subscribers, don’t email them at 10am in the morning because if they’ve just finished a night shift they’ll be heading off to bed!

    And think about time zones too.

    For example, if you’re a tour operator trying to build a relationship with your subscribers based in Hong Kong to encourage them to take one of your tours, don’t email them at 8pm UK time (this is the start of the second most popular time to send an email, according to CoSchedule’s research mentioned above), because that’s currently 4am in Hong King and they will most likely be asleep!
    I hope you’ve found this blog post on email marketing helpful.

    If you would like to find out more about what email marketing can do for your business, please schedule a free, no obligation 1-2-1 with me now using this link to my calendar:


    Or you can email me


    Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

    Tara Macgregor is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) and a Chartered Marketer. She runs Ticketyboo Marketing a marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, that works with SMEs to help them find new customers and increase revenue from their existing customers.

    A Virtual Office with Strathmore

    Strathmore Edinburgh Virtual Offices

    How can a virtual office work for me?

    Perhaps you don’t require a full-time office, maybe you travel a-lot or just wish to expand your company to another city without committing to a full-time space. If so, a virtual office is a simple and cost-effective solution which allows business owners and employees to work remotely from any location, be it abroad, at your kitchen table, or from the comfort of your favourite coffee shop.

    By choosing a virtual office address all business correspondence can be sent to the same address without confusion, the address can be displayed on your website, on business cards and so on, and depending on your virtual office provider be used as a base to meet clients. If you work from home a virtual address allows you to differentiate between the two and importantly keep your home address private.

    A virtual call answering service on the other hand is a brilliant way to lighten the load. Perhaps you experience a high volume of incoming calls and just need a little support, or perhaps you work on the road and find yourself missing important calls. With a call answering service telephone calls can be answered on your behalf, in your company name and managed as you wish. It’s a really great way to free up your time and improve the efficiency of your day to day business operations.

    Of course, virtual offices don’t just relate to small business’ or one-man bands. They are also incredibly useful for larger organisations, allowing you to expand across multiple cities or even countries. Your core team may well be based in London but that’s not to say you can’t have an operating business address or local telephone number in Edinburgh.

    Strathmore Edinburgh Virtual Offices

    Why choose a virtual office with Strathmore?

    At Strathmore we provide virtual office services to support and help your business grow. You can choose a ‘Business Address’ from one of our four central locations across Edinburgh, be it enviable George Street or the business hub of St Andrew Square, and our team will handle your incoming mail. Mail can be collected in person or forwarded on to another address as requested. Or why not set-up a ‘Call Answering’ service and let us relieve some of the daily pressures by answering company calls on your behalf. We are happy to take messages or arrange for call forwarding. With our telephone system you can even select a geographical number of your choice, that’s right it doesn’t even need to be a local Edinburgh number, but be safe in the knowledge that your company calls are being handled by the Strathmore team.

    Indeed, at Strathmore we have a great team and pride ourselves on excellent customer service. But don’t just take our word for it! Read on to see what our current virtual office clients have to say about us, our virtual office service’s and meeting room facilities.

    Martin Browne of Tutor Doctor:

    “I have been a virtual tenant of Strathmore Business Centres since 2010. Much of my work is home-based and I use the facilities to give me a business address where people can reach me. The staff are all excellent and handle enquiries without any indication I am not based in the building. The meeting rooms are well appointed and make my business look professional. I arrive just before my meeting is due to start, everything is ready for my arrival, and I leave after showing my visitor out. In many cases I am sure that my visitors have no idea I don’t actually have a physical office there! Well done Strathmore, keep up the good work!”

    Ewan Menzies of Castle Strategy:

    “Having my virtual office at Strathmore Business Centre has been a great move. It has separated my business from my home and given me a postal address in Edinburgh City which I can display on my website. I also have the flexibility to use meeting rooms when I need them at a reduced rate which is great for both sales meetings and client meetings and nicely positions my business and services.”

    Dorothy McKinney of Dorothy McKinney Ltd:

    “I have used Strathmore Business Centre at Scott House as my business address and mail forward service for two years now and am very happy with the service I receive. My post is forwarded to me the same day it is received, and everything runs very smoothly … As a small business I need the service to be professional, effortless, efficient, and friendly and that’s what I get.”

    Click here for more information about our virtual office services.

    Fresh Start ‘helping people make a home for themselves’

    Strathmore Edinburgh Charity Fresh Start

    Towards the end of last year some of the Strathmore team visited the Edinburgh based charity Fresh Start. Our team saw first-hand the brilliant work they do within the local community and we look forward to supporting them over the coming year with our first Starter Pack collection day arranged for January 25th.

    Strathmore Edinburgh Charity Fresh Start

    Jen McQuistan from the Fresh Start team has very kindly written a guest blog to tell us a little more about them and the work they do:

    “A home is somewhere where we feel safe, secure, warm and loved. However, for many, a wrong choice, bad experience, bereavement, or relationship breakdown can result in the loss of their home. Homelessness can mean sleeping on a friend’s sofa, staying in a homeless B&B or hostel or in the worst scenario – sleeping rough on the streets. This can have a devastating effect and lead to feelings of isolation and despair.

    Being offered a new home is a lifeline, a chance to make a ‘fresh start’. However, being given a tenancy is only a first step, what next? Being homeless means you have nothing, and imagine moving into a new flat or house with nothing. You have no cups, cutlery, kettle, cooker, towels, duvet, sheets – nothing. Furnishing a house and making it a home when you have nothing is an overwhelming prospect.

    This is where Fresh Start steps in; we are a small, Edinburgh based charity and our mission Statement is ‘helping people make a home for themselves’. One of the ways that we do that is by providing goods in the form of Starter Packs of everyday household items such as mugs, cutlery, curtains, cleaning products – all the small things that are so important. These Starter Packs help people in the initial stages of their new tenancy, to lessen the financial burden and stress involved in setting up a home. We also provide Hit Squads to help decorate up to two rooms, turning an empty shell into a real home. Through our cooking classes and our Growing Spaces, we provide opportunities for people to learn new skills, build confidence and self-esteem. Finally, our Training Initiative provides those who are unemployed with skills, experience and qualification to get back into the workplace.

    Strathmore Edinburgh Charity Fresh Start

    Through your help and the support of businesses like Strathmore, Fresh Start can make a real difference to someone’s life, helping them settle in their home and gain the skills and confidence they need to feel part of a community again and move forward with their lives.

    Jen, Fresh Start”

    Strathmore Rebranded

    Strathmore Edinburgh Serviced Offices

    After a busy few months at Strathmore HQ we are excited to officially announce that we have rebranded for 2018!

    Strathmore first opened its doors back in 2009 and now, almost 9 years and a further 3 buildings later, we felt it was time to ‘spruce’ up the Strathmore brand and refresh our image.

    Strathmore Edinburgh Serviced Offices Rebrand

    The fantastic team at Mywebcare not only developed our new website but cleverly tied the old in with the new to create fresh new branding which we look forward to rolling out further over the coming weeks. You may have already spotted the new external signage at Hopetoun Gate and Scott House and we hope to have George Street and York Place completed in the next few weeks. Please do follow us on Twitter to keep an eye on what we are up to and please also let us know what you think. We would love to hear your feedback.

    With that said the Strathmore Team is ready to face the New Year and the new challenges it might bring.

    One of these challenges will be the very first Strathmore blog which we will be using to share news about up and coming networking and charity events, to introduce our team and of course spread the word about our services. However, we don’t want this to be just about us. We would also like the blog to be a platform for our tenants and associates, allowing you to share your company news, promote your expertise and so on.

    If you would like to contribute a guest blog along the way please don’t hesitate to contact olivia@strathmoreedinburgh.com.

    To celebrate our little make over we will be hosting a week of giveaways on social media for our clients (week beginning January 8th). We will have a selection of vouchers and sweet treats to give away over the course of the week so make sure you are following us on Twitter for updates and a chance to win a prize.

    We look forward to 2018 and working with you all this year!

    The Strathmore Team