BACKGROUND: Decreased mobility and physical fitness along with increased sedentary time is associated with loss of independence for older adults; regular exercise may be beneficial. However, travel and cost may be barriers to regular exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a home-based endurance, strength, and balance exercise program on mobility and physical fitness in independent older adults. METHODS: Older adults were recruited from the community to participate in a home-based University of Lynchburg Active Aging Program (ULAAP) for 8-weeks. Endurance, strength, and balance exercises were prescribed using National Institute of Aging’s Exercise & Physical Activity Guidelines and ULAAP’s target: 150-minutes endurance, 8 strength, 8 balance exercises. Participants reported weekly progress to the program. Physical activity assessed with International Physical Activity Questionnaire (MET). Dynamic stability was tested with 4 square test (4Sq), Mobility was tested with 30s chair stand (30s) and timed up and go (TUG). Exercise capacity assessed with 6 minute walk test (6M). Strength assessed with left/right handgrip test (LHS, RHS). Each test was completed pre and post with anthropometrics (weight, height, and body mass index (BMI)). Pre and post differences were assessed using paired samples T-tests (p<0.01). RESULTS: 54 participants (Age = 69.9 ± 7.1sd years, 64.9% female, Race; white=35.1%, black=56.1%, asian=3.5%) completed 88% of scheduled sessions and increased their weekly physical activity over the 8-week program (MET pre 210.8 minutes per week±106.9, post 407.8 minutes per week±137.6, p=0.000). There was no change in weight (pre 77.9kg±16.1, post 78.4kg±20.3, p=0.678), BMI pre 23.9±4.3, post 24.0±5.4, p=0.695). There were improvements in hand grip strength (RHS pre 27.1kg±16.5, post 28.6kg±16.5, p=0.000; LHS pre 26.4kg±15.9, post 29.0kg±16.1, p=0.000), mobility (30s pre 12.7s±3.0, post 13.6s±3.2, p=0.001; TUG pre 7.4s±1.5, post 7.5s±1.2, p=0.578), dynamic stability (4Sq pre 9.7s±2.6, post 8.6s±2.5, p=0.000), and total distance walked (6M pre 532.6m±104.2, post 552.4m±100.0, p=0.000). CONCLUSION: Our 8-week home-based endurance, strength, and balance exercise program increased regular exercise, decreased sedentary time, and improved muscular strength, mobility, dynamic stability, and exercise capacity in independent living older adults.

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