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Guide to working out without leaving your chair

Simply sitting on your rear could put you at risk of lifestyle diseases. Our guide to working out without leaving your chair.

Consider how many hours of your day are spent sitting in a chair. Whether it is working at a desk, driving to work or watching television, chances are that you spend a minimum of five hours a day seated.Sitting on your buttocks could make you a sitting duck for lifestyle diseases. According to Australian researchers studied the lifestyle habits of 8,800 adults, each hour spent watching television on a daily basis is associated with an 18 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Instead of complaining about the lack of time for a trip to the gym or fatigue caused by hours of inactivity, use your time strapped to a chair to up your fitness.

Think of it as the lazy boy workout, burn calories without losing your seat. It is important however, to follow the regime in totality and stick to the prescribed repetitions and try not to take long breaks in between. All you need is a sturdy chair, minus the wheels.

Here’s our guide to the sitting workout:


Reps 30 alternating

This exercise offers a cardio boost while engaging your abs, arms, and legs. It may also be the safest way to run in heels. Sit with legs extended, toes pointed and arms bent by your sides. Brace your abs in tight and hinge back until just the shoulder blades are lightly touching the back of the chair, lifting legs low in front of you. Remember, you can take the support of the back of your chair but don’t put your weight on it since that will defeat the purpose of the work out.

Bend left knee into chest, turning right shoulder in towards knee, pulling left elbow slightly back, then quickly switch sides.

Jumping jacks

Reps 30

Jumping jacks are good for cardio -but they can be tough to do in the middle of the work day or if you suffer from a lower body injury. This seated variation is mild enough to spike your heart rate without leaving you drenched in sweat.

Sit with your back straight, knees bent and together, feet pointed with toes lightly touching the floor, elbows bent and arms open to sides with palms facing forward. Quickly open legs out to sides, flexing feet, landing on heels, and extending arms overhead. Return to start. The faster your tempo, the harder you’ll work.


Reps 30

This low-impact version of a side skater blasts calories while engaging the core, inner thighs, arms, and shoulders.

From the edge of your chair, bend right knee out to the side, extending left leg out straight to the side, toes pointed.Extend arms straight and lean forward slightly, reaching left arm to inside of right foot, raising right arm up behind body, twisting through torso.

Reps 20

Hinge and cross Strengthen your back and abs-all while keeping your lower body engaged–with this toning move.

Sit tall with knees bent and together, toes pointed, hands behind head. Focus on squeezing inner thighs together for more muscular activation. Brace abs in tight and hinge back until just shoulder blades are lightly touching the back of the chair.Bring body forward, crossing right elbow to the outside of left knee.

Reps 20 each side

Leg lifts Target and tone your quadriceps, inner thighs, and abs with this Pilates-inspired seated strengthener. Sitting tall on edge of chair, extend right leg out straight with foot on the floor, arms crossed over chest. Brace abs in tight and rotate torso to the right as right leg lifts to left knee, squeezing knees together.Return to start. Try timing your breathing for better abs activation-focus on exhaling during the twist and lift, and inhale as you return to start.