Campaign for hospitals goes active

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Did you know that a week in hospital can significantly reduce your physical ability?

Even short periods of inactivity can lead to muscle loss, increased risk of falls, increased confusion, reduced independence, delays in getting home and increased risk of needing help when leaving hospital.

A study that asked people in a hospital ward to wear pedometers found that on average people took just 70 steps a day. It was a stark contrast to the challenges many people undertake to increase their activity levels.

NHS Highland says it is committed to delivering the best possible service in partnership with its  local communities and is launching its Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving campaign.

The campaign builds on the good work undertaken in hospitals so that the public, people who need to go in to our hospitals and their families are aware it encourages people to bring in their day clothes and footwear, to get out of bed, get dressed and to move around the ward as much as possible.

Increased physical activity enhances recovery and helps people to get back home sooner and to live as independently as possible.

Derek Laidler, lead physiotherapist with Argyll and Bute HSCP, said: ‘Research highlights that many people in our hospitals do not require bed rest. Studies have also shown that wearing pyjamas can change how we feel about ourselves. It can reinforce a perception of ill health, inactivity and consequently delays recovery.

‘Part of the challenge lies in our traditional attitudes around rest, recuperation and convalescing. Bed rest is perhaps the worst thing possible for most people, regardless of their reason for being in hospital.’

NHS Highland’s allied health professional lead for South and Mid Community Services, Amanda Trafford, said: ‘Evidence has demonstrated that outcomes for people in hospital can be significantly improved by encouraging people to be more independent. Supporting people to get up, washed and dress in their own clothes is a vital part of the drive for independence.’