New website helps older people stay active at home

Leading physiotherapists concerned ‘stay at home’ restrictions could exacerbate falls and poor physical function in older people have developed a new website to support older Australians to stay active – safely – at home.

Launched today by a collaboration of Australian clinicians and physiotherapy researchers from 10 universities, institutes and health services, the Safe Exercise at Home website ( shares simple functional exercises and gives ideas of safe ways for older people to increase activity levels while at home.

Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Michele Callisaya, has been involved in creating the content of the website, specifically focusing on the three levels of exercise for different abilities.

“At the moment a lot of us are doing less exercise than usual.  We are unable to go to our regular exercise classes, game of bowls or swim at the pool. Incidental physical activity is also likely to be less as we are not leaving home as often. I encourage older people of all abilities to access the website to find out how they can safely stay active. Family and friends can also jump online and learn about how their loved ones can exercise at home.”

The website, accessible via desktop or mobile, provides information and instructional videos at three different levels of function and fitness, as well as tips on staying motivated and safe while exercising at home.

Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Distinguished Professor Alison Venn said it was an important initiative for the ongoing health and well-being of our older communities.

“As we know, Tasmania has a significantly older and more vulnerable population. At Menzies we focus on practical research to improve the lives of our community and this website is a terrific example of how we are able to offer support and advice.”

The website gives elderly people the exercise advice they need with easy to follow videos. It also provides the choice to start with some simple exercise programs and then allows them to choose more challenging programs to build up their strength and balance.

A national collaboration

The Safe Exercise at Home website was developed by physiotherapists from across Australia with clinical and academic expertise. The collaboration includes the University of Tasmania, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Monash University, Curtin University, University of South Australia and University of Queensland in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute, Sydney Local Health District (NSW), Western Health (VIC) and Peninsula Health (VIC). The website is endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.