Elderly couple sitting in a chair

Difficulties getting off your chair

The ability to stand comfortably and safely is essential to maintaining independence, and something we all take for granted throughout our lives. However, as we age and muscle strength and joints deteriorate, this task can become more and more difficult.

To compensate for muscle weakness, people will often instinctively reach for something to grab in order to support them to their feet. This can, however, be dangerous as the object being grabbed may not be strong enough to support the weight and could lead to a fall. If muscle weakness is preventing you or a loved one from safely rising from your chair, these are the steps you should follow in order to safely get to your feet.

How to get to your feet safely

Start by moving your bottom closer to the edge of the chair

This will give you less distance to travel in standing and will ensure your centre of gravity is closer to your knees, putting less pressure on the joint and supporting muscles. 

Ensure both feet are firmly and flatly on the floor 

This will give you a solid base to take your weight and lead to fewer muscles being activated in order to balance while standing

Place both hands on the chair arm rests 

If there are no arm rests then use the edge of the chair. This will help to distribute the weight through other muscles so you are not relying solely on the muscles in your legs. 

Lean forward 

Position your upper body so that your nose is over your toes. This ensures even weight distribution and a strong centre of gravity so that you are evenly balanced

Push down through your arms 

Use your arms to start taking some of your weight off the chair. This will reduce the amount of weight required to be lifted by your leg muscles 

Begin straightening your legs 

Keep pushing down through your arms as your legs straighten. 

Let go of the chair 

Once you feel comfortable that your legs will take the weight, you can let go of the chair and finish straightening your legs.

If you have a walking stick or frame, it is important that this is easily reachable from your chair so that you have it for support once you are standing.

If you are finding it consistently difficult to rise from a sitting position, a riser recliner chair from Rise & Recline Ltd can help you sit and stand safely and help maintain independence while reducing the risk of falling. Take a look at our range of riser recliner chairs to find out more.