For hospitalized patients, the myth of “rest is best” can actually prolong recovery and lead to a number of new health issues. According to the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO), this is especially true for elderly patients, who without mobilization can lose up to 1-5% of muscle strength each day in hospital. This is problematic, as studies show that on average, hospitalized older adults only spend 43 minutes a day standing or moving.
Physical activity does not refer to lifting weights or cardio; it simply means getting out of bed and going about daily activities, as you normally would at home. This helps to prevent disability from bone and muscle loss.
Check out CAHO’s “Motions of Recovery” video for some simple tips on how to keep moving during hospitalization. To learn more about the MOVE ON (Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders in Ontario) project, please visit: the CAHO website.