Seated Physical Activity For Us All!

VIVA’s Home Nursing team recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, for everyone. Ideally, this should be incorporated into one’s daily routine to promote our health and enhance our well-being. 

However, finding engaging exercises that can be completed while seated can be challenging so below, VIVA has three sets of exercises designed to be done from a seated position (and yes… the couch in front of the TV certainly does count!), aiming for a total of 30 minutes of activity each day. You can do them all at once or in 3x 10-minute blocks and alone, with your support person or anyone else.

These exercises focus on improving your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, all of which are important for overall physical and mental health.

Seated Cardio Set (10 minutes)

Arm Circles:

– Sit upright with feet flat on the ground.

– Extend both arms out to the sides at shoulder height.

– Slowly make small circles with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles.

– Continue for 1 minute, then reverse the direction for another minute.

Seated Marching:

– Sit up straight and march your legs up and down in place, lifting your knees as high as comfortable.

– Pump your arms in sync with your legs to increase your heart rate.

– Continue the marching motion for 3 minutes, aiming for a steady pace.

Seated Rowing:

– Sit with your legs extended slightly forward, feet flat.

– Extend your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing down.

– Pull your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then extend your arms back out.

– Imagine you’re rowing a boat. Continue this motion for 3 minutes.

Strength and Flexibility Set (10 minutes)

Seated Leg Lifts:

– Sit upright and hold onto the sides of your seat for stability.

– Extend one leg out straight and lift it as high as possible, keeping your back straight.

– Hold the lift for a few seconds, then slowly lower your leg.

– Alternate legs, performing 2 minutes per leg.

Chair Yoga Twists:

– Sit upright with your feet flat on the ground.

– Place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right knee.

– Gently twist your torso to the right, looking over your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds.

– Return to the centre and repeat on the other side, twisting to the left. Hold for 30 seconds.

– Alternate sides for a total of 4 minutes, focusing on deep, controlled breathing.

Seated Arm Raises:

– Hold a water bottle or a can (or a lightweight) in each hand, arms at your sides.

– Slowly lift your arms to the side or front, keeping them straight, up to shoulder height.

– Lower them back down with control.

– Alternate between front and side raises for 4 minutes.

Mind-Body Coordination Set (10 minutes)

Seated Tai Chi Movements:

– Sit upright and start with your hands in your lap.

– Slowly move your hands up in front of you, palms up, then gently lower them back down, palms down.

– Coordinate your movements with slow, deep breaths, focusing on the flow of motion.

– Continue these gentle, flowing movements for 5 minutes, emphasizing relaxation and breath control.

Hand and Finger Exercises:

– Start with your hands open, fingers spread wide.

– Slowly make a fist, then open your hands again.

– Touch each fingertip to your thumb, one at a time, creating a gentle stretching motion.

– Continue these exercises for 3 minutes, enhancing dexterity and flexibility.

Seated Dance:

– Put on some favourite music with a good beat.

– Encourage movement to the rhythm, using the upper body, arms, and head.

– Freestyle dance movements in the chair for 2 minutes, promoting joy and freedom of expression.

These exercises are designed to be accessible, engaging, and beneficial for a broad range of people encouraging physical activity without the need for standing or extensive mobility. Always ensure that the exercises are suitable for your specific abilities and health conditions, and if there’s any doubt about that, make sure you consult with your healthcare professionals, as necessary. By integrating these exercises into daily routines, you can help yourself achieve improved physical health, emotional well-being, and a greater sense of self-confidence and independence.

If you’d like to learn more about health and well-being for yourself, your client or someone else, VIVA Mutual’s Support Centre team is always available to share our expertise and experience for the benefit of Support Coordinators, NDIS participants and those who support them. Many of us live with disabilities ourselves and/or have family members with NDIS Plans too, so we know what we’re talking about.


For a confidential chat with one of VIVA Mutual’s understanding and supportive folks, please call 08 8877 8000 or send us an email via admin@vivamutual.org

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