Chair to Floor Transfer

Original Editor - Anna Ziemer

Top Contributors - Naomi O'Reilly and Kim Jackson  


A Fall is as an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level. Fall-related injuries are mostly non-fatal but can also be fatal. [1] For many older individuals or those with impairments e.g. traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, getting back up off the ground and into a chair is one of the most difficult transfers. With practice, individuals can learn to do it alone, and as such is a very important skill that should be thought in rehabilitation for those at increased risk of falls.


Backward Chaining - Sequence allowing you to practice the transfer for “getting off the floor” in reverse order.

  • You need sturdy chair and comfortable clothing.
  • Pillows can be used for your knees during initial training. 
  • Do not compromise your safety! If you not sure you can get off the floor on your own please, arrange appropriate level of assistance.
  • Take breaks when it suits you.
  • If you observe any uncomfortable discomfort or pain, check your position and try again.  
  • Once you have learned the sequence you can use it safely to get up from the floor, i.e.: when you fall.


Step 1

Stand up and take a comfortable step away from the chair.

Step 1.jpg

Step 2

Turn to face the chair. Lunge forward with your strongest leg and reach for the sides of the chair seat or arms. Spread the weight evenly so the chair does not tip.

You might want to stay with this stage until confident before continue towards the floor.

Step 2.jpg

Step 3

Bend your back knee down to the floor. Bring your other knee down.

You can progress towards placing your hands on the floor when you have mastered transfer from standing to high kneeling and return to standing. 

When returning up from kneeling lean your weight over arms and push up with stronger leg.

Step 3.jpg

Step 4

Place one hand on the floor. Bring your other hand down to be in 4-point kneeling. Lower your hips to the side towards the floor.

4-point kneeling can be used for moving around practice.

To return to 4-point kneeling from side sitting lean your weight forward over hands and lift your bottom up and over your knees. 

Step 4.jpg



  1. WHO. Falls Factsheet Available from: (last accessed 03/09/2019)