Back Care Awareness Week - seated stretches and exercises

Jake Dennys Read 240 times

Back Care Week Website Image 

Back Care Awareness Week is a great opportunity for us to share with you some seated stretches/exercises to help maintain strength and independence. The back is one of the most important parts of the body. It helps us sit, stand, twist and bend, it keeps us upright, stable and it protects our nervous system from damage.

According to a report from Versus Arthiritis, back pain is the leading cause of disability, with 1 in 6 people in England experiencing back pain. It’s vital then, that we do what we can to protect our back, so that we can stay strong, healthy and independent.

We have put together a list of stretches and exercises that you can perform in a seated position, with the aim to help you strengthen your back muscles. It’s important to remember to take things slowly at first, don’t push yourself too much and if something hurts, you should stop. If you’re concerned about any stretch, exercise or movement then you should consult a GP first.

Drawing directly from NHS UK, let’s kick things off with some stretches:

Chest Stretch:

 RHC Chest Stretch Image

  • Sit upright and away from the back of the chair. Pull your shoulders back and down. Extend your arms out to the side.
  • Gently move your chest forwards and up until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold this for five to ten seconds and repeat five times.

Upper Body Twist:

 RHC Upper Body Twist

  • Sit upright with feet flat on the floor, crossing your arms and reaching for your shoulders.
  • Without moving your hips, turn your upper body to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for five seconds, then repeat this for the right side. Repeat the process five times.

Hip Marches:

 RHC Hip Marches

  • Sit upright and away from the back of the chair, holding onto the sides.
  • Lift your leg, with your knee bent, as far as is comfortable. Controlling the movement, place your foot back down and then repeat this with the opposite leg. Repeat the process five times.

At this point you should be a bit warmed up, a little bit more limber and ready for some light chair-based exercises. Whilst not all of the exercises are specifically aimed at the back, your body’s muscles are all linked together and by strengthening your body as a whole you will see benefits in your back and everywhere else.

The British Heart Foundation has a great list of seated exercises that we will be featuring, as well as some useful images to show you how to complete them.

Knee Extensions:

RHC Knee Extensions

  • Keep your knees together with your feet placed firmly on the floor. Straighten one leg out in front of you, as far as is comfortable.
  • Hold the position for one second and then slowly bend your leg and lower your foot back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise with your opposite leg and complete the process again with each leg five times in total.

Seated Row:

 RHC Seated Row

  • Hold your arms in front of you at shoulder level, or as high as is comfortable, with your thumbs pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Draw your elbows back, squeezing the shoulder blades together until your upper arms are in line with your body.
  • Extend your arms again, thumbs pointed toward the ceiling and repeat the movement five times.

Toe Lifts:

 RHC Toe Lifts

  • Place your feet firmly on the floor and lift the toes of both feet as far as is comfortable, leaving your heels on the floor.
  • Return your toes to the ground and instead lift your heels as far as is comfortable, gently squeezing your calf muscles in the process.
  • Repeat the movement five times.

Overhead Press:

 RHC Overhead Press

  • Bend your arms up, ideally with your wrists by your shoulders, but bend them as far as is comfortable.
  • Controlling the movement, slowly punch diagonally and upwards across your body with one arm while slightly rotating your body in the same direction.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your other arm. Repeat the entire process five times.

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to join other like-minded people for more seated exercises, Age UK has created a handy tool that allows you to find local seated exercise classes based on your postcode.

If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and how you can join the team, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact your local office.


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