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Staying safe when doing online exercises

  • If applicable, can you hear the instructions? Try turning up the volume on your device.

  • Get your equipment ready (eg weights, sturdy support, water bottle, etc).

  • If you are doing a live online class, make sure you have the correct app downloaded (eg Zoom, Skype). Contact your instructor if you're unsure.

  • Have a clear space to exercise. Remove obstacles (eg rugs, cords) so you don't trip.

  • Remove potential distractions and risks such as pets.

  • Exercise in a well-lit area that is not too hot or cold.

  • Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and well-fitting shoes or runners.

While exercising and watching your screen:

  • Only have one exercise on your screen at a time.

  • Exercise at your own pace. Don't try to keep up with the exercise demonstrator.

  • Balance exercises must be done safely. If needed, use a bench, table or sturdy chair next to you or in front, and a wall close behind to steady you.

  • Listen to your body! If an exercise causes you pain, discomfort, or you feel unsteady or unsafe, either modify the exercise (eg do an easier version, hold on for balance support) or leave it out. Seek advice, if you need, from an exercise specialist (physiotherapist/exercise physiologist). 

  • Have someone else nearby when you exercise if possible. Alternatively keep your phone in reach if you live alone.

  • Start any new exercise slowly and carefully. Watch the video (if there is one) before you try the exercise. If the exercise has an 'easy' and a 'hard' option, try the easy option first.

  • Make sure you take breaks in between and keep yourself hydrated.

  • If you are doing a live online class (eg one run by a health professional or exercise instructor) adjust your screen so you can see only the instructor. It may be distracting if you can also see other people exercising. Make sure the instructor can see you.  

  • Can you see your screen easily while you exercise? Set your computer or tablet up somewhere stable where you can easily see the screen. A few large books on the kitchen bench can adjust the screen to the right height.

  •  Do you need reading glasses/ bifocals to see the screen? Be aware that when you change your focus from viewing the screen to doing the exercises your balance may be impacted.

Man doing exercises in kitchen.jpg

Before you start:

  • Do you have the necessary technology? A laptop or tablet (eg iPad) is ideal. The screen of a phone may be too small.

  • Do you have a reliable internet connection? If not, print the exercise sheets if available.

This video is from the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health's Staying active during and after lockdown webinar.


Physiotherapist, Giane Caon Camara, chats with June Jones and Steve Turner about getting active online and offline.

Seek advice from your doctor or health professional prior to starting exercise if you have had two or more falls in the past 12 months, a recent heart problem, shortness of breath, chronic pain, or other serious medical condition.

Stop exercising immediately if you become dizzy, develop chest pain or feel unwell. You should discuss this with your doctor.

We provide examples of ways to stay active during COVID-19 at three levels of function and fitness. 

If you are not sure which level best suits you, start at the easiest level (Level 1) and work your way up. We also provide additional information on how hard should you work and tips for staying motivated. Remember if you need assistance, a physiotherapist can help.

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