Movement is important for everyone. Also for patients admitted to a hospital. Unfortunately, physical activity during hospital stay is not promoted and not attractive at all. The hallways are boring and there is little to do for inpatients. In addition, patients in hospitals have often lost confidence in their body or they are not always aware that physical activity contributes to a faster recovery. As a result, 60% of the time is spent in bed during the day. Muscle mass decreased and causes patients to lose physical function which in some cases is irreversible. Additionally, the risk for complications increases. This makes patients dependent on third parties and increases need of admission to a nursing home.
”Your condition worsens in the hospital when you are there to get better.”
But there is also good news: various studies show that more physical activity during hospital admission leads to better outcomes. By implementing interventions that stimulate physical activity, patients move more, lose less physical function and have a smaller risk for complications. More exercise also reduces the duration of hospitalization by as much as 5% to 14%.That is physical gain for the patient and financial gain for the hospital.
- Kortebein P, Ferrando A, Lombeida J et al. Effect of 10 days of bed rest on skeletal muscle in healthy older adults. JAMA 2007;297:1772-4.
- Covinsky KE, Pierluissi E, Johnston CB. Hospitalization-associated disability: “She was probably able to ambulate, but I’m not sure”. JAMA 2011;306:1782-93.
- Hoyer EH, Friedman M, Lavezza A et al. Promoting mobility and reducing length of stay in hospitalized general medicine patients: A quality-improvement project. J.Hosp.Med. 2016;11:341-7.
- Van Delft L, Bor P, Valkenet K, Slooter A, Veenhof C. The Effectiveness of Hospital in Motion, a Multidimensional Implementation Project to Improve Patients’ Movement Behavior During Hospitalization. Phys Ther. 2020 Sep 11:pzaa160. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzaa160. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32915985.