Is It Really Home-Based? A Commentary on the Necessity for Accurate Definitions across Exercise and Physical Activity Programmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There is wide discrepancy in how published research defines and reports home-based exercise programmes. Studies consisting of fundamentally different designs have been labelled as home-based, making searching for relevant literature challenging and time consuming. This issue has been further highlighted by an increased demand for these programmes following the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government-imposed lockdowns. Purpose: To examine what specifically constitutes home-based exercise by: (1) developing definitions for a range of terms used when reporting exercise and physical activity programmes and (2) providing examples to contextualise these definitions for use when reporting exercise and physical activity programmes. Methods: A literature search was undertaken to identify previous attempts to define home-based exercise programmes. A working document, including initial definitions and examples were developed, which were then discussed between six experts for further refinement. Results: We generated definitions for universal key terms within three domains (and subdomains) of programme design: location (home-based, community/centre-based, or clinical setting), prescription (structured or unstructured) and delivery (supervised, facilitated, or unsupervised). Examples for possible combinations of design terms were produced. Conclusions: Definitions will provide consistency when using reporting tools and the intention is to discuss the issues presented as part of a Delphi study. This is of paramount importance due to the predicted increase in emerging research regarding home-based exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9244
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Definitions
  • Exercise interventions
  • Home‐based exercise
  • Reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Is It Really Home-Based? A Commentary on the Necessity for Accurate Definitions across Exercise and Physical Activity Programmes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this