6 reasons why chair based exercise is good for you

Contrary to popular belief, chair-based exercise is not just for the elderly or those with limited mobility. The humble chair beneath you can transform into your own personal fitness station, offering a surprisingly effective workout that boosts your health, strengthens your muscles and improves your flexibility whether you’re 9 or 90.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at seated workouts, exploring their benefits and discovering the different types of chair exercises you can do.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin!

What is chair exercise?

Chair-based exercises are a form of physical activity that can be done while sitting on a chair or using a chair for support. They are suitable for people of different ages and abilities, especially those with limited mobility and may have difficulty standing, walking or balancing. Chair exercise can help improve your health, fitness and overall wellbeing without putting too much stress on your joints and muscles.

Are seated workouts effective?

Yes, they are! Seated workouts can provide many benefits for your body and mind, such as improving your fitness levels and circulation, building stamina and strengthening the core. They can also support improved flexibility and can be a great exercise for long-term health conditions.

The benefits of chair-based exercise

Here are seven reasons why chair-based exercise is good for you:

1.      It’s convenient

You don’t need special equipment or a lot of space to do chair exercise. You can use any chair or wheelchair that allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at right angles. You can do chair exercise at home, at work or anywhere else you have a chair available and some space around you.

2.      It’s accessible

Seated workouts are the ideal inclusive fitness option for those with limited mobility who may feel excluded from traditional fitness settings. Because they can be done sitting or holding onto a chair for support, they are especially useful for those concerned about stability or balance.

The adaptability of chair exercises makes it possible for people of all fitness levels to engage in physical activity, right in the comfort of their home or as part of a group exercise class.

3.      Builds muscle strength

Chair-based exercises are particularly effective in building muscle strength across key areas like your arms, legs and core. Focusing on these muscle groups will help you with daily activities—from lifting grocery bags and climbing stairs to standing up from a sitting position. Consistent practice can make these functional tasks easier and less strenuous, leaving you less out of breath.

4.      It's adaptable and versatile

You can chop and change the duration, intensity and frequency of chair exercise according to your own needs and preferences. Choose from a variety of exercises that target different parts of your body, such as your chest, arms, legs, back, core and neck. You can even combine chair exercise with other forms of activity, such as Zumba, yoga or Pilates.

5.      Improved mobility

Chair exercise can improve your joint flexibility and range of motion, which is particularly important for older adults or those recovering from injuries. Enhanced mobility can make daily activities like reaching for objects, tying shoes or simply moving around more comfortable and less strenuous. Chair-based exercises can also help prevent stiffness, pain and inflammation in your joints.

6.      It's a fun and sociable activity

One of the best aspects of chair-based exercise is it can be a great way to have fun and socialise with others who share your interests and goals. You can join a chair-based exercise class or group in your local area, or you can get friends or family members involved.

If you prefer to combine it with watching TV or listening to music, this can help make your seated workout more entertaining and less of a chore.

What exercises can I do while sitting on a chair?

  • Seated Row: extend arms at shoulder level, thumbs up. Draw elbows back, squeeze shoulder blades. Extend arms to start, repeat.
  • Knee Extenders: Sit with feet on floor and knees together. Extend one leg straight, hold briefly, then return foot to floor. Alternate legs for several reps.
  • Toe Lifts: Lift toes while heels remain on floor. Replace toes, lift heels, flex calves. Repeat with legs stretched out.
  • Hip Marches: Lift left leg, knee bent, as far as comfortable. Lower foot with control. Alternate legs for several lifts.
  • Overhead Punches: Start with wrists near shoulders, arms bent. Punch up and across diagonally, rotating torso. Return and switch arms, repeat.

For more inspiration, take a look at these seated exercises recommended by the NHS.

Not sure if chair-based exercises are for you?

If you're not sure whether chair-based exercises are for you, why not contact the LiveWell team to discuss your fitness goals and preferences? We’ve already helped thousands of people across Dorset get more active and we’d love to help you too! Check out the tools and resources on our website or register with us today for a personalised fitness plan tailored to you. Our LiveWell coaches can put together programmes tailored to suit individuals of every age, level and ability, including those with disabilities and long-term health conditions.


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