Chair exercises

It’s important to stay active and move our bodies throughout the day. Regular movement helps us to improve our strength, stability and coordination and reduces our risk of injury.

Sometimes it can seem hard to fit exercise into our day especially if we’re working in an office or experiencing pain due to an injury or health condition. Here are eight gentle chair exercises you can perform at any time of day to keep you moving. All you need is a chair!

Calf raises
Sit upright with your feet hip width apart. Raise your right heel as high as you can while keeping your toes on the floor. Lower your right heel to the floor. Perform 10 repetitions on your right leg then perform 10 repetitions on your left leg.

Sit and stands
Plant your feet on the floor about hip width apart. Engage your abs and tilt forward from the hips. Press weight down into all four corners of your feet and push yourself up into a standing position. Lower back down into a seated position, by tilting your hips back and bending your knees. Complete 10 repetitions.

Hip marches
Position your feet hip width apart and sit up tall, holding onto the edges of your chair. Bend and raise your right leg as high as you can, then slowly lower your right foot down to the floor. Repeat on your left leg. Continue alternating the movement on each side and complete 20 repetitions.

Heel slides
Sit upright with your knees bent and feet positioned hip width apart. Extend your right leg out in front and flex your right foot so the heel is in contact with the floor and the toes are pointing up to the ceiling. Keeping your right heel in contact with the floor, drag it back towards the chair. Once you’ve moved your heel back as far as you can, begin to slide it away and extend your right knee. Perform 10 repetitions on your right leg then perform 10 repetitions on your left leg.

Upper body twists
Sit up tall with your feet planted on the floor and cross your arms over your chest. Without moving your hips, rotate your upper body to the right as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat on the left side. Perform 5 repetitions on each side.

Chest stretches
Sit up straight and away from the back of the chair. Pull your shoulders down and back then extend your arms out to the side. Push your chest forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Perform 5 repetitions.

Neck rotation
Sit up tall with your shoulders down and look straight ahead. Turn your head towards your right shoulder as far as feels comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds then return your head to the starting position. Repeat on the left side. Perform 3 repetitions on each side.

Neck stretch
Look straight ahead and sit upright. Hold down your right shoulder with your left hand and tilt your head to the left. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat on the other side. Perform 3 repetitions on each side.

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