Preventing Falls: Moving Safely Out of a Chair and Bed

Woman grasping armrests to sit on a chair


Man in hospital gown sitting on the edge of a hospital bed with his feet flat on the floor. His hands pushing down on the bed on both sides of the body.

You can move safely, whether you’re at home, in a hospital, or out and about. Plan your movements. Don’t rush. The phone or doorbell can wait. And learn how to perform daily tasks safely, like getting in and out of a chair or bed. The more careful you are, the less likely you are to fall.

Getting In and Out of a Chair

When you can, choose chairs with long armrests.

To sit down:

  • Back up until you feel the chair against the backs of your legs.

  • Grasp the armrests with both hands and sit down.

To stand up:

  • Scoot to the edge of the chair. Place both feet firmly on the floor.

  • Grasp the armrests or put both hands on your thighs and slowly push yourself up.

Getting Out of Bed

If you’re using a hospital bed, make sure it’s locked. Put the head of the bed up.

To get up:

  • Move to the edge of the bed and roll onto your side. Push yourself up with your hand. At the same time, swing your legs over the side of the bed.

  • Sit on the edge of the bed for at least 30 seconds before standing up.

  • With both feet firmly on the floor, put your hands beside you on the bed and slowly push yourself up.

  • If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, sit back down right away.