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Walking the halls gets elderly patients out of hospital quicker

When Granny’s in hospital, she might recover more quickly if she walks the corridors.

When Granny’s in hospital, she might recover more quickly if she walks the corridors.

Several studies worldwide have found that elderly patients who are mobile while in hospital get released earlier than those who stay in bed.

“Walking really does pay off,” says Dr. Efrat Shadmi (PhD), a researcher at Haifa University in Israel and co-author of a new study.

The study involved 485 patients over age 70 who were hospitalized for at least two conditions over two days or more. There were two groups: those who stayed in bed or seated next to their bed, and those who walked around their room and the hospital ward. The patients who walked shortened their hospital stay by an average of a day and a half.

“Higher levels of mobility emerges as an important factor associated with shorter length of stay,” reported Dr. Shadmi and colleague Dr. Anna Zisberg in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Mobility was beneficial for patients regardless of their functional status, age, cognitive ability, sex, and severity of illness.

Older patients might mistakenly believe they are supposed to stay in bed in order to get better. This is not the case.

They can lose muscle power quickly if they don’t walk around.

 
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