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An Exercise Guide to Keep You Fit While You Sit

Posted by Twin Towers on May 11, 2017

By Amy Brunner, Manager of the Connection at Twin Towers

Our bodies are meant to move so any extended sitting — such as behind a wheel or desk — increases our health risk.With the influx of technology during the past decade, sitting has increased among the general population and movement has decreased.  Therefore, more focus must be placed on moving and exercising while you sit.

Health Concerns Due to Long Periods of Sitting 

“Long periods of sitting are linked with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer,” according to research from the University of Colorado. This research shouldn’t surprise us because the basic muscle activity needed for standing and other movement triggers the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body.

When you sit, these processes stall; but when you're standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action. By increasing your daily movement even when you sit, you can burn more calories and increase your energy.

Get healthy eating & exercises tips for age 65+ in this free Wellness Guide.

Try these 4 chair exercises that can be done anywhere and will help get your body moving.

4 Chair Exercises That Can Be Done Anywhere


  1. Triceps Press

Triceps press chair exerciseEquipment: Chair

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair facing forward, feet spread about shoulder width apart, ankle in line with the knee (not too far behind or ahead), back straight, and shoulders over hips.
  2. Begin by placing both hands on the arms of the chair.
  3. As you exhale, push yourself up using your arms. Straighten at the elbow but make sure your hands stay touching the arms of the chair and that you do not come to a full stand.
  4. As you inhale. slowly lower yourself down to sitting, controlling the movement with your arms.

Repeat the exercise 10-15 times.

Amy’s Expert Tip: Ensure proper form by keeping your fingers pointed forward and your elbows pointing straight back.

  1. Abdominal Tuck

Abdominal tuck chair exerciseEquipment: Chair

Sit on the edge of a chair facing forward, feet spread about shoulder width apart, ankle in line with the knee (not too far behind or ahead), back straight, and shoulders over hips. For added back support, you can scoot back so that your back is against the chair

  1. As you exhale, lift your right knee to your chest, contracting your abdominal muscles.
  2. As you inhale, slowly lower your right leg.
  3. On your next exhale, lift your left knee to your chest, contracting your abdominal muscles.
  4. As you inhale, slowly lower your left leg.
  5. Continue to alternate sides.

Repeat the exercise on each leg 10-15 times.

Amy’s Expert Tip: Remember to move slow and controlled. If you go too fast, you may sacrifice form, which can result in injury. Also remember to breathe. It is common for people to hold their breath during core exercises. You need to get oxygen to the working muscles to optimize performance.

  1. Chair Stands

Chair stands chair exerciseEquipment: Chair

Sit on the edge of a chair facing forward, feet spread about shoulder width apart, ankle in line with the knee (not to far behind or ahead), back straight, and shoulders over hips.

  1. Begin by placing arms across the chest.
  2. As you exhale, come to standing position and squeeze the buttocks. Once standing, raise your head so you are looking forward and pull the shoulders down and back.
  3. As you inhale, slowly lower yourself back down to sitting.

Repeat exercise 10-15 times.

Amy’s Expert Tip: If you need to use the arms of the chairs to assist you in standing you can but focus on pushing up with the legs. Keep your back straight. Make sure you come to a full sitting position before standing again.

  1. Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring stretch chair exerciseEquipment: Chair

Sit on the edge of a chair facing forward, feet spread about shoulder width apart, ankle in line with the knee (not to far behind or ahead), back straight, and shoulders over hips.

  1. Begin by extending the right leg out. Heel on the floor, toes pointed up and knee as straight as you can.
  2. Place one hand on top of the other, take a deep breathe in and as you exhale hinge forward at the hip reaching your hands toward your feet.
  3. Stretch should be felt in the back of the leg.
  4. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds while breathing steadily.
  5. As you inhale, slowly come back up.

Repeat the stretch 2-3 times

Repeat the entire stretch with the left side as well. Alternate sides if desired.

Amy’s Expert Tip: When the stretch is not deep enough, make sure you keep a straight back and knee while bending forward at the hip. Focus on bringing the chest down to the leg and not your forehead. Continue reaching down to your toes until you feel a good pull in the muscle. If you feel sharp pain, then back off slightly.

To increase intensity, do each exercise 10-15 times and then rest for about 20 seconds and repeat a second time. Another option is to do each of the 4 exercises 10-15 times and then do all 4 a second time.

Feeling good inside and out is the cornerstone of life at Twin Towers Senior Living Community in Cincinnati.

Our fitness and aquatic center, The Connection at Twin Towers, offers a full schedule of senior fitness classes and integrative therapies to help you live a healthy, active lifestyle. The Connection serves adults 50 years and older and welcomes non-residents from the surrounding community to become members and enjoy the benefits and services.

For a free tour of The Connection or the Twin Towers community, contact Twin Towers today! 513-853-2000.

achieving whole person wellness

Topics: Senior Health and Fitness

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