How many times do you get up out of a chair in a day? Do you struggle to get up? Do you have to think about it before you drag your derrière up off the chair?
Did you ever consider the act of getting up from a chair an exercise? How about a screening test for falls risk?
Even before I discovered that the CDC is recommending chair stands as an exercise for fall prevention I have been wanting to write a blog on getting up out of the chair. Why? Because I think this is a great way to work exercise into your daily routine without having to actually “exercise”.
If you put your focus onto standing up throughout your day, you can actually improve the strength in your legs without doing any “extra” exercise.
Most of us do not have to think about getting out of chair, we just do it. But for now, let’s breakdown the steps of standing up from a chair.
- Position yourself in the middle or front of the chair.
- Lean your trunk forward, bending at the hips, not the waist, keeping your back straight maintaining the natural curves of the spine.
- Shift your weight forward bringing your nose over your toes.
- Push up from the soles of your feet. As you stand up, keep feeling the push up your legs as your knees, then hips, then your trunk straightens.
- Once you are upright finish by rolling your shoulders back and lifting the top, back part of your head up towards the ceiling.
Hopefully now you are standing fully upright with good posture.
Here are a few ways you can vary getting up from a chair to improve your overall strength of your body.
Perform the chair stand:
- In slow motion, including descending to the chair controlling the movement as you sit onto the chair, making sure you hinge at the hips and bend at the knees as you slowly sit down.
- With your arms crossed in front of your chest.
- With your arms reaching forward.
- Use your arm strength to do the initial lift of the buttocks up off the chair.
- Starting with 5 repetitions, progress to 10 repetitions, then 15 repetitions.
For those who do a lot of sitting throughout the day, chair stands are a perfect exercise you can do every 20 minutes to change your body position to counteract the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.
Here is a test for you to try.
Count how many chair stands you can perform with your arms crossed in front of your chest in 30 seconds.
For those aged 60 to 94 researchers have shown that the amount of chair stands you can perform in 30 seconds correlates to your risk of falling. See how your number rates at this website: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/pdf/steadi/30_second_chair_stand_test.pdf
How did you score? If you are at a high risk of falling checkout the fall prevention post and talk to your doctor about your falls risk before a fall occurs.
Incorporate the chair stand exercise into your daily routine to take a step towards better health.
Happy Day! Here’s to Helping You Improve Your Strength and Well-being!