This systematic review aimed to investigate the impact of staff manual handling practices and physical training interventions on nursing home residents ability to transfer on and off furniture. Key words and subject headings were used to search databases for English language studies published after 1994. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies of physical activity interventions indicated that physical activity training will benefit residents transfer ability. One study examined the effect of a safe manual handling program on resident quality care outcomes. Further research is required into the nature and impact of the assistance provided by staff to residents during transfers. Innovative and sustainable approaches to safe manual handling that promote resident mobility are needed.