U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Household Circuit Activity Program

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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

Why is this important?

  • Diverse forms of physical activity have been shown to improve health outcomes and reduce risk for chronic disease.
  • Systematically combining a number of household and yard chores in a defined period of time or "circuit" can improve daily energy expenditure without having to travel to a gym or exercise class.
  • Doing domestic chores as a circuit activity may result in significant caloric expenditure and weight loss. This can reduce risk for developing diabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions.

Action steps:

  • Complete a Domestic Physical Activity History Form [PDF - 44KB] on the patient before assigning specific household or yard chores to the circuit.
  • Complete the Household Circuit Form [PDF - 37KB] by coupling two or more household, yard or community activities spaced with 1- or 2-minute rest break periods.
  • The duration of each activity or chore depends on the time requirement of the chore/activity but is generally between 5-15 minutes.
  • In the beginning two or three activities will be sufficient; however as the participant's stamina and fitness improve each circuit should increase to include six to ten diverse activities.
  • Always start and end the circuit with activity that requires a low-level physical effort, e.g., easy stretching or slow walking and then add activities in an order that requires increasing effort.
  • The total time for the circuit should be between 20-90 minutes depending on the health status and fitness of the participant.
  • The total energy expenditure (kcal) will be dependent on the total duration, average intensity or work load of the circuit activities and the body mass of the participant.
  • Refer to the Ainsworth's Compendium of Activities Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov which compares hundreds of domestic activities by their relative energy expenditure (in METs).
Overview How To Other Resources EHR Documentation

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov