Chair aerobics

By Tay Hung Yong, Physiotherapist, Singapore Heart Foundation

Excerpt of article that first appeared in heartline, Dec 2009 issue.

Ever felt helpless because you wish to get more active but your arthritic knees do not seem to co-operate with you? Or perhaps due to certain medical conditions, you have to spend a great amount of time on the chair? Then, chair aerobics may be a way to tear down that barrier to exercise!

Chair aerobics is a form of aerobic exercise where the participant stays seated in a chair for the duration of the exercise session. Normally targeted at those with mobility problems, chair aerobics aim to give a complete workout while limiting the stress and strain on joints.

You can choose your own pace when performing chair aerobics. You can also choose how hard you want to work yourself out. A strengthening component can be added to the exercise by using dumbbells, exercise bands and ankle weights. If you are not keen to spend on such accessories, filled-up water bottles can be used as weights too.

A typical aerobic workout consists of a warm-up (at least 5 to 10 minutes), aerobic work (approximately 30 minutes or longer), cool-down (at least 5 to 10 minutes or longer if needed for heart rate recovery) and stretching/relaxation (at least 5 to 10 minutes if time permits). If you find yourself unable to endure longer periods of exercise, you can always shorten the actual workout by half.

Below are some illustrations of the exercises you can do:






Chair Warm-Up Techniques

Never stretch a “cold” muscle. The following pictures show how you can warm up:


a) Do Marching On The Spot (MOTS) while sitting down, combined with hand movement (hand clenching and punching into the air)坐在椅子上,两脚原地踏步,可配合手部动作,双手紧握或向空中击拳。

b) Turn the toes inward and outward for 8 counts of 8.

c) Alternate between heel raises and toe raises for 8 counts of 8.
脚跟提高, 再提高脚趾,重复8次。持续8会。
d) Bend and extend the elbows for 8 counts of 8.
双肩提至90度,弯曲手肘,然后伸展出去,重复8 次。持续8 回。
e) Bend and extend the wrists for 8 counts of 8.
双肩提至90度,往下弯曲手腕,然后手腕往上弯曲,重复8 次。持续8 回。
Stretching of Muscles: Perform each action at least 2 times, hold for at least 10 seconds in each position.
伸展运动: 每个动作重复2次,每个姿势静止10秒钟。
Neck (颈项)
Lower ear towards shoulder on any side, hold for at least 10 seconds, then repeat the movement on the other side.
Look up, without hyper-extending the neck, hold, and then look down.
Neck Rotation: turn head toward shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
颈部旋转至一边, 静止 10秒钟,朝向另一边重复同样的动作。

Shoulders (肩膀 – 三角肌)

Triceps (肱三头肌)

Biceps (肱二头肌)

Lower Back (腰部)
Chest (胸肌)
Back (背部)
Hamstrings (后腿 – 股二头肌)
Calf (腓)
Toes (脚趾)
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