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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3241873, 8 pages
Research Article

Instructors’ Perceptions of Mostly Seated Exercise Classes: Exploring the Concept of Chair Based Exercise

1Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
2Bassetlaw Health Partnership, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Day Rehabilitation, Retford Primary Care Centre, North Road, Retford DN22 7XF, UK
3Healthcare of Older People, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
4Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Jean McFarlane Building, Floor 6, Room 332, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Received 12 May 2016; Revised 12 October 2016; Accepted 27 October 2016

Academic Editor: Alejandro Santos-Lozano

Copyright © 2016 Katie R. Robinson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chair based exercise (CBE) can be used to engage older adults unable to take part in standing exercise programmes. Defining and understanding the context of CBE have been acknowledged as a challenge. We explore instructor experiences of delivering mostly seated exercise classes for older people and how this helps us to further understand the concept of CBE. We extracted qualitative data from a cross-sectional survey with 731 exercise instructors. 378 delivered mostly seated classes and 223 of those instructors provided qualitative data. There were 155 instructors who did not provide any qualitative comments. Framework analysis was used and informed by a Delphi consensus study on CBE. Instructors perceived mostly seated classes as predominantly CBE; they defined it as an introductory class that should be offered as part of a continuum of exercise. It was considered suitable for those with limitations and older adults in long-term care and with dementia. Instructors reported CBE used inappropriately for more active older people. Instructors reported observing improvements in mood and cognition and broader social benefits. Instructors’ perspectives largely support expert consensus that CBE has an important role in a continuum of exercise. Providers of CBE need to ensure that more challenging exercises are introduced where appropriate. Further research is needed to explore older adults’ perceptions of CBE.