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

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    5 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 Sep 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


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