Home-based Settings

Home-based interventions attempt to build physical activity into people’s daily routines. For example, many activities that are done at home are considered physically active (e.g., vacuuming, raking leaves, or walking the dog). Likewise, the family is a useful source of social support for being physically active. These interventions can also include more traditional forms of exercise programs such as sports, aerobics, jogging, or Pilates.

Previous work in home-based settings has found:

  • Given the evidence for the efficacy of home-based programs in improving parenting skills of low-income parents of preschool children, a home-based physical activity program may be the most developmentally appropriate and ecologically valid method of delivering health education to low-income, inner-city families.
  • Intervention strategies in home-based settings often emphasize emotional support (encouragement for dealing with the psychosocial challenges) alone or in addition to other forms of support.
  • Intervention strategies in home-based settings often emphasize parent/family involvement recommending participation in activities together (e.g., family physical activity, special classes for parents while children are in classes)
  • Home-based physical activity programs are particularly pertinent to community members who are unable to access education classes offered in the community (i.e., individuals with physical disability, limited mobility, no access to transportation, etc).
  • The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular setting to provide health information for those living in rural areas with limited reach and availability of programs, as well as those who are homebound.
  • Homes are effective in reaching individuals who might not otherwise be reached in other settings, through the use of mailed materials and home visits from trained exercise instructors.

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