Chair volleyball comes to the Westlake Senior Center

A chair volleyball match at the Rocky River Senior Center. Photo by Laurie Schaefer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 40 percent of American adults sit for more than 8 hours per day; 40 percent are physically inactive with no moderate exercise during the week, and an additional 10 percent fit into both categories. These percentages increase with age.

But sitting doesn’t have to mean inactivity. If you’ve ever taken a spinning class, you know what I mean. Chair yoga is another (less intense) option that is very popular with seniors, giving a full work-out regardless of balance and mobility issues.

Now there’s another fun option in town that is also a team sport. Indoor chair volleyball is a new activity taking senior centers across the country by storm. It is played with two teams of at least six players, with a shorter, 5-foot-high net. The “volleyball” is actually a beach ball. Rules are similar to regular volleyball except for the “one cheek on the chair” rule. Yes, I said one cheek on the chair; think about it.

This game is great for upper body mobility and joint flexibility. It enhances muscle tone, reflexes, hand-to-eye coordination and endurance. It is also great for social interaction and lots of laughs. It actually stems from “sitting volleyball,” a Paralympic sport introduced in the 1976 Summer Paralympic games.

Westlake Senior & Community Services Center is hosting a demo on Monday, Jan. 18, at 1:00 p.m. To give it a try (or just watch), simply RSVP by Jan. 25 to 440-899-3544. You do not have to be a Westlake resident, or have any prior experience, you just have to be Fifty Plus and have a willingness to have fun. We are located at 29694 Center Ridge Road in Westlake.

The idea came to us from Laurie Schaefer, program coordinator of Rocky River Senior Center, where they’ve been playing now for a couple of months. Due to its popularity, the program, which was originally intended to be monthly, has become weekly; and their seniors are looking for some friendly competition. Perhaps this can be the beginning of a chair volleyball league. Let's bring it!

To view a full listing of the Westlake Senior & Community Services offerings, visit the city website at, or drop in and ask for a tour. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Lydia Gadd

I am the Director of the Senior and Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:49 AM, 01.08.2019