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Simple Chair-Based Activities for Individuals with Limited Mobility

Being physically active is good for us, but not everyone can participate in activities like walking, running or cycling.  If that’s the case for you or some of your clients, then simple chair-based activities could be just what you’re looking for!

These simple chair-based movements are a great way to get some physical activity for individuals that are seated for long periods of time, have limited mobility or space, or are simply stuck inside.

Before you begin:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider before starting this or any exercise program.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement.
  • Choose a chair that allows you to keep your knees at a 90-degree angle when seated. If you’re in a wheelchair apply the brakes.
  • Remember to keep breathing when completing the movements. Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure.
  • Sit up straight in your chair and maintain good posture.

Here are a couple of low impact, simple and fun chair-based moves:

  1. Toe Taps-Extend your right leg forward and tap your toe on the floor. Return your leg to the original position.  Do this move 5 times.  Repeat the move with your left leg.
  2. Arm Punches-Form your hands into fists and place your elbows at your sides with your fists at chest level. Extend one arm out straight into a punch and pull arm back into starting position.  Repeat with opposite arm.  Punch arms back and forth for 10 seconds.
  3. Tummy Twists-Extend your arms out like you are holding an imaginary ball in front of you. Slowly rotate your torso to the left as far as is comfortable while holding the rest of your body still.  Rotate back to the center.  Repeat this move in the opposite direction.  Do this set 6 times.


For more chair-based activities to share with your clients, check out our:  Simple Chair-Based Activities Handouts.  One of our customers used these handouts at health fairs for employees, seniors, parents, kids and others.  They utilized these handouts when specific needs were found, such as while working with a senior community. One of the health needs was for chair- based exercises.

Even a small amount of activity can be an excellent boost to our well-being and help tone and strengthen.  Being physically active is good for the body.


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