Staying Active While in the Hospital
During your stay in the hospital you are encouraged to stay active. Moving around
– whether in or out of bed – helps to strengthen your muscles and keep your body
strong and healthy. This can help you in taking care of yourself and keeping up
your daily routines once you return home. It can also help you to stay more
independent and have a greater sense of control over your life.
Benefits of Being Active
· Reduce your risk of falls and harm.
· Improve how well you sleep.
· Decrease pain and disability from arthritis.
· Prevent pressure sores.
· Avoid bone weakness and muscle shrinkage.
· Help your heart and lungs to work their best.
· Improve blood flow and prevent clots.
· Increase energy and endurance.
· Improve your mental well being.
· Promote independence.
Before starting exercise or an activity program, check with your health care
team to make sure it is safe and fitting for you.
Your activity level depends on your health and your treatments. There may be a
limit as to how much you can do on your own. If you need help, please ask
before you move. We care about your safety!
Common Questions about Activity and Exercise
You might have concerns about being out of bed. Here are some common
questions that others have asked.
Q: How do I know if I can get up and out of bed?
A: The treatment and health of each person is unique. Check with your health
care team to be sure it is all right for you to be up and walking. Being in bed
for long periods of time can prolong your hospital stay and slow your
recovery. But before getting up, you need to know if it is medically safe for
you to be up and moving.
Q: Am I at risk for falling?
A: Though rare, falling while in the hospital can result in serious harm. You
are at greater risk if you have:
· History of falling
· Medicines that make you drowsy
· Unsteady feet or trouble with balance
· Vision problems
· Memory loss and trouble thinking clearly
While you need to try to prevent falls, getting out of bed and moving is
crucial to your recovery.
Q: How can I prevent myself from falling?
A: Most important, ask for help when needed. If someone from your health
care team says it is OK for you to get out of bed and you feel unsteady or
unsure, call your nurse for help. For further details, refer to Health Fact
#5461 – Preventing Falls.
Q: How important is it to exercise and just get up and move around?
A: Exercise and being out of bed is very vital. It can:
· Improve and maintain muscle tone
· Improve balance and coordination
· Get your heart in shape
· Improve appetite
· Help with constipation
Q: Could exercise be bad for me medically?
A: Your nurses will give you an exercise program that has been approved by
your health care team. Let them know of questions or fears you have at any
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©10/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5625.