Sit back and...Spike! Chair Volleyball scores big in Tennessee

A fun new program delivers fun for Seniors in Tennessee!

In a fun twist on traditional exercise, chair volleyball is gaining popularity in Tennessee, offering a low-impact way for players to stay active without leaving their seats.

A recent tournament organized by UT Extension for local Family and Community Education Club members, comprised of event teams engaging in serves, sets, and even spikes—all while adhering to the golden rule of “one cheek on the chair at all times.”

In chair volleyball — the net is lower, the court is smaller, and the ball is of the blow-up variety, creating a lighthearted atmosphere filled with laughter and a bit of friendly trash-talking.

Participants — predominantly seniors — find joy in the game, emphasizing the camaraderie and the chance for a much-needed upper-body workout.

“I think it’s real good to get exercise because I cannot bend over.,” explained Dorothy Dunn, one of the players. “But I can reach back and everything. But I think it’s good for us.”

For Dunn, exercise is not just about physical benefits but also mental well-being.

Beyond exercise, chair volleyball serves as a remedy for social isolation among seniors. In a post-COVID era where social interactions declined, the game provides an opportunity to reconnect, have fun, and boost mental health.

“After COVID, we saw a real decline in this age population getting out and being with their friends and being active,” noted Kelli Roberson with UT Extension. “So this has just been a good opportunity for us to get together, have fun, not be in a serious setting.”

The concept aligns with UT Extension’s broader approach to wellness, offering various seated exercise programs like chair yoga and “Matter of Balance.” So, if you’re looking for a new game that keeps you seated while scoring physical and mental benefits, chair volleyball might just be the perfect fit.