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Healthy Aging Tips from Sit and Be Fit's Mary Ann Wilson RN
Sit and Be Fit TV host, Mary Ann Wilson, RN

Tips To Make Standing Up From a Seated Position Easy

For many people, the simple act of getting up from a seated position to a standing position can be a challenge. The ordinary activities of standing and sitting are so basic that we take them for granted…until the day when we have to push, and push, and push again before achieving “liftoff”.  Difficulty in standing up from a chair can be due to a combination of reasons:

  • weakness of the legs
  • stiffness in the back
  • poor balance
  • fear of falling
  • lack of flexibility in the ankles
  • lack of range of motion in the knees
  • tightness of the hamstring muscles on the back of the thighs
  • improper technique


Here are some easy tips to practice to help you rise up from a seated position.

  1. Slide your bottom all the way to the front edge of your chair.
  2. Now that you’re at the edge of the chair, sit up straight.
  3. With your knees bent, pull your feet back under the front edge of your chair underneath you.
  4. Place your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.
  5. If you have armrests on your chair, place your hands near the front of the armrests. If you don’t have armrests, place your hands beside your thighs at the front edge of your chair or on the tops of your thighs.
  6. Lean forward from the hips, keeping the back straight. This step is very important! If you lean forward far enough, gravity can actually help you stand up! Your head should move forward during this step.
  7. As you are leaning forward, press your heels into the floor as you push yourself up with your legs and with your arms.
  8. Straighten your legs. Lift your head up to straighten your hips. Now you’ve done it! You’ve achieved liftoff!


Another easy tip to help you stand up from a seated position is to consider the type of chair you sit in. Switching from a soft squishy chair to a strong, firm, armchair will give you more support as you stand up.

Use the same technique outlined above when getting out of or into a car. Again, the step that most people have trouble with is leaning far enough forward. By bringing your feet back underneath your body and leaning forward, the body’s center of gravity shifts toward the front of the feet.  This allows gravity to help you rise up from a seated position.

A good way to help increase leg strength is to practice standing up and sitting down as an exercise 5 times at every meal. It’s also very important to do exercises for back, leg and ankle flexibility.  

Related Blogs:

Sit to Stand Training to Help Achieve Lift Off

Sink Exercises for Leg Strengthening and Balance


Recommended DVDs:
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  1. Great Job Maria!Very well said and very nice tips listed to rise from a seated position.I feel sometimes as if I have lost all my energy after hours and hours of sitting in the office chair but yes taking small breaks in between keeps me energized and I feel more comfortable.

  2. A good and descriptive way of standing up. My grand mother has pain in her legs and often has a difficult time getting up. She is mostly sitting down all day and getting up can be a challenge for her. Found this to be a good read.

  3. I am truly grateful for the advice. Besides being painful it has made me a little nervous at times getting up from even though it is only for a moment to change ffrom a chair to another, to a bed, or toilet, and especially to a vehichle. I really appreciate the advice and it helps to remember that I am not the only one going through this. Definite encouragement knowing that someone knows and really understands what we go through. Thank You! All who read this: You and all your loved ones stay safe and blessed in every way always! Lord Jesus Christ loves you dearly!

    1. Dear Margaret, Thank you for the encouraging, uplifting, words. Keep up the great work of exercise to improve your strength. Practice a little bit everyday to see good results. Focus on lower body strengthening specifically to improve your balance and mobility. Your positive attitude is an inspiration:) Wishing you the very best always!

  4. My orthopedic doctor told me never to stand up like that. He said I should be able to see my toes before standing. It may be my particular knee issue that causes him to give me that advice because my inclination has been to do what you suggest even though painful for me. I have had sprains/tears in the hamstrings where they attach to the back of the knee which have taken months to resolve.

    1. Dear Carolyn, Thank you for reaching out to us. Yes, your orthopedic specialist is the best source for tailoring exercises (like the sit-to-stand movement) to fit your specific needs according to your body. The two of you are the expert when it comes to what’s best for your body. As a rule, pain is your body’s way of telling you to stop an exercise. You should feel and function better after a workout. It’s wonderful that you have your orthopedic doctor to help guide you. What a blessing! Keep up the good work of gentle exercise, first and foremost, always listening to your body. Wishing you good health and happiness.
      Warm regards from the Sit and Be Fit team

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