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Variations in physical activity and sedentary behavior during and after hospitalization in acutely admitted older medical patients: a longitudinal study

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BACKGROUND: Inactivity is frequent among older patients during hospitalization. It is unknown how patients' daily activity pattern (diurnal profile) vary between hospitalization and after discharge. This study aims to describe and compare the distribution of physical activity and sedentary behavior in acutely hospitalized older patients during hospitalization and after discharge.

METHODS: We included data on 80 patients (+65 years) admitted with acute medical illness from the STAND-Cph trial. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured as daily number of steps, uptime (walking/standing) and sedentary behavior (lying/sitting) with an activity monitor (activPAL3, PAL Technologies Ltd). The patients wore the monitor for three periods of one week: during hospitalization, after discharge, and four weeks after discharge.

RESULTS: The patients' median age was 80 years [IQR: 75;88], 68% were female and the median De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) was 57 [IQR: 48;67]. The daily median uptime was 1.7 h [IQR: 1;2.8] during hospitalization, 4.0 h [IQR: 2.7;5.4] after discharge and 4.0 h [IQR: 2.8;5.8] four weeks after discharge. The daily median number of steps was 728 [IQR: 176;2089], 2207 [IQR: 1433;3148], and 2622 [IQR: 1714;3865], respectively, and median daily sedentary behavior was 21.4 h (IQR: 20.7;22.4), 19.5 h (IQR: 18.1;21.0) and 19.6 h (IQR: 18.0;20.8), respectively. During hospitalization, a small activity peak was observed between 9-11 AM without any notable variation after. At discharge and four weeks after discharge, a peak in physical activity was seen between 9-12 AM and at 5 PM.

CONCLUSION: Older hospitalized patients spend most of their time being sedentary with their highest activity between 9-11 AM. Daily activity doubles after discharge with one extra peak in the afternoon. Daily routines might be disrupted, and older patients have the potential to be more physically active during hospitalization. Interventions that encourage physical activity during hospitalization are warranted.

TidsskriftBMC Geriatrics
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)209
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 15 mar. 2022

Bibliografisk note

© 2022. The Author(s).

ID: 75651832