CPSTF Recommends Home-based Exercise Interventions for Adults 65 years and Older

An African-American woman sitting on the floor doing yoga; she is facing a laptop computer

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends home-based exercise interventions to improve physical fitness among adults 65 years and older. Evidence from a systematic review published in 20211 shows interventions improve older adults’ balance and, muscle strength, power, and endurance. Participants also report fewer falls and fall-related outcomes and spend more time engaged in physical activity.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition recommends older adults engage anaerobic, muscle-strengthening, and balance activities. Increasing physical fitness among older adults supports Active People, Healthy NationSM – a national initiative led by CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027.

What are home-based exercise interventions?

Home-based exercise interventions for adults 65 years and older aim to instruct and motivate older, independent living adults to engage in physical activity at home to improve physical fitness. Interventions must include the following:

  • Specific exercises, initial instruction on routines, and limited or periodic supervision
  • Exercise sessions two or more times per week
  • Exercises targeting improvements in strength, balance, or both
  • Low-cost equipment, such as hand weights and towels or activities that used resources already in the home such as chairs

Interventions may do the following:

  • Offer physiotherapists, physical therapists, peer mentors, nurses, or trained intervention providers for training and supervision
  • Provide training face-to-face or through educational materials or digital formats such as video programs
  • Conduct monitoring and feedback using participant diaries, exercise logs, or telephone calls
  • Include exercises to improve flexibility
  • Encourage participants to also engage in aerobic activities such as walking

Why is this important?

Heightened risk for community-acquired infectious disease, such as COVID-19, may reduce opportunities for older adults to be physically active and increase the amount of time they spend at home engaged in sedentary behaviors.1 Physical activity is one of the best ways people can improve their health overall. It can lead to substantial health benefits for older adults and preserve physical function and mobility, which may delay the onset of major disability and help them maintain independence longer.2

For More Information:


1 Chaabene H, Prieske O, Herz M, et al. Home-based exercise programmes improve physical fitness of healthy older adults: a PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis with relevance for COVID-19. Ageing Research Reviews 2021;67:101265.

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018.