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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting into & out of a chair

Te noho me te tū i tētahi tūru

If you find it hard to get into and out of your chair, you may be at risk of falls. Talk to your general practice team about a referral to the Falls Prevention Service.

How to get out of a chair

  1. Move your bottom to the front of the chair.
  2. Move your feet so they're under your knees and your feet are hip width apart.
  3. Bring your head and shoulders over your knees so your weight is forward.
  4. Push with your hands either on your knees or on the arms of the chair to help you stand up.

To sit down, do these steps in reverse order.

The following ideas might also help.

Choosing the right chair

Having a chair that is the right height makes it easier to get into and out of.

Chairs come in different shapes and sizes and meet a range of needs. It's important to know what you're looking for. The following is a brief guide.

Seat height

Choose a chair that has the correct seat height for you. A higher seat is easier to get into and out of. When seated, your feet should be comfortably placed on the floor in front of your chair. Your knees and hips should be bent at 90 to 100 degrees and your feet a hip-width apart. Often chairs are higher at the front than the back to make them more comfortable. Make sure the seat is not angled too deeply at the back. This can make getting out of the chair difficult.

The seat of the chair should be long enough to support the full length of your thigh. If it's too short, it will not provide enough support. If it's too long, it encourages poor posture. With a long seat, your bottom may not be far enough back, and your feet may dangle above the floor.


The seat and back of your chair should be comfortable but firm. A chair that is too soft can cause your back muscles to contract and go into spasm. It can also be too hard to get out of. Make sure the chair supports your lower back and holds it in the correct position (not swayed or rounded).

Arm rests

Look for good, solid armrests to help you get into and out of. Check that you do not have to reach too far backwards to grip them.

When choosing a reclining chair, make sure you can easily get into and out of it. If you have poor sitting balance, make sure you fit snugly in the chair. If the chair is too wide, you're more likely to sit leaning to one side.

Choose an easy-clean fabric.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2022.

Page reference: 245266

Review key: HIFAL-31777