Where? In a chair


If you are like me, you spend most of your day sitting.  The average adult in the US spends 8-12 hours of their day sitting.  Whether you are sitting because your work requires it or you have reduced mobility due to an injury or condition, you can improve overall fitness through something very simple!

WHOAnyone who wants to add movement into their day and enhance fitness.

WHAT: Chair exercise
If you are looking for some simple stretches or want to develop strength, alleviate symptoms of chronic sitting, or improve mood chair exercise has something to offer.

Crossed leg hip stretch seated
Seated Hip Stretch

WHEN: It’s easy to wait until you feel your neck calling out, “move me, stretch me” before you pay attention.  That is normal.  Discomfort is a motivator to change.  Get ahead of the pain and discomfort by setting a timer to remind you to move every 30 minutes.  Start with 3 minutes of gentle stretching (start with the pictures below and remember to breathe slowly and listen to your body) or try a 5-30 minute RFC video.

WHEREIn your chair, of course!
I recommend any chair that is supportive and allows your feet to touch the ground. You don't need a special chair for chair exercises, but the one you use should be sturdy. If your chair is sitting on a smooth surface, you may need to back it up to a wall so it won’t slip.  And be careful with wheels; they roll!  A standard wooden kitchen chair, folding chair, or desk chair is fine and a mobile chair works too.

Seated Hamstring stretch one leg outstretched toes up
Seated Hamstring Stretch

WHYBecause you’re worth it!
And there is evidence that chair exercise increases your energy, improves posture, enhances mood, and develops strength, flexibility and balance, and improves functional fitness.

HOW:  Did I mention videos? Use the pictures as your guide and start simple!

Want to learn more?


About Author

Rebecca Allen

Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator Wellness

Rebecca E. Allen is passionate about helping others develop and nurture practices of well-being.   She earned her BS in Sociology and MA in Exercise and Sport Science and holds fitness certifications from ACE, AFAA,, IFTA, and Tai Chi for Health Institute.  She is a Medical Exercise Specialist and is registered with Yoga Alliance as a 500 RYT. Rebecca enjoys long walks in the woods with her husband, Chip Davis.

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