Bedrest is Bad: New #everyBODYmoves Campaign Is Combatting Hospital Immobility

Ann Glasscock Special to the Bulletin

Immobility can harm patients in hospital, post-acute care, and other settings. According to researchers, bedrest can have many negative effects. Muscle mass decreases by up to 2% per day, and there is an  increased risk of blood clots, pneumonia, and skin breakdown. 

Movement can reduce these effects, but for patients in hospital settings that often takes encouragement. At Brownwood Regional Medical Center Physical and Occupational Therapists will get you moving! 

Enter the #everyBODYmoves campaign, that was developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine to raise awareness and put focus on the immobility harm in the hospital and post-acute care. They have been successful in positioning hospital immobility as a harm just like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or falls. Sedentary behavior is bad. We should all exercise more than we do. But if you're confined to the home or have a chronic illness, it becomes that much harder, and the cycle of comorbidity, debility, and disease accelerates. As a patient, you might say, "I'm sick, I just need to sit in bed and rest”, or "I am in pain, and I don’t want to move." As providers and patients we need to think about all those barriers to movement and collectively develop solutions, no matter the setting. There is a balance between the concern about falls with the concern about effects from immobility.  As a patient in a hospital you can “call don’t fall”. When you call for assistance you can reduce the risk for falls related to multiple lines like oxygen or IV, and the risk from dizziness associated with cardiac issues or medicine. There is no pill you can take to improve strength, balance or endurance - mobility is that medicine and it is as important as the pills you take. Through physical and occupational therapy in the hospital, home health or outpatient settings you can improve the overall quality of your life. Glenn Schroeder, PT, at Brownwood Regional Therapy Zone a local outpatient therapy clinic, promotes physical therapy in the outpatient setting after hospitalization to help you get moving!