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Physical activity among hospitalised older people: insights from upper and lower limb accelerometry.

Lim SER, et al. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2018.


BACKGROUND: Few studies have explored the activity levels of hospitalised older people and the intra-daily activity patterns in this group have not been described.

AIMS: To describe the quantity and daily pattern of physical activity among hospitalised older people using two accelerometers: the ankle-worn StepWatch Activity Monitor (SAM), and the wrist-worn GENEActiv.

METHODS: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted on the acute medical wards for older people in one UK hospital.

INCLUSION CRITERIA: participants aged ≥ 70 years, and able to mobilise prior to admission. Participants wore both devices for up to seven consecutive days, or until hospital discharge, whichever was sooner. Intra-daily activity levels were analysed hourly over each 24 h period.

RESULTS: 38 participants (mean age 87.8 years, SD 4.8) had their activity levels measured using both devices. The SAM median daily step count was 600 (IQR 240-1427). Intra-daily activity analysis showed two peak periods of ambulatory activity between 9 am-11 am and 6 pm-7 pm. With physical activity defined as ≥ 12 milli-g (GENEActiv), the median time spent above this cut-off point was 4.2 h. 62% of this activity time was only sustained for 1-5 min. Acceptability of both devices was high overall, but the wrist-worn device (96%) was more acceptable to patients than the ankle-worn device (83%).

CONCLUSION: Activity levels of these hospitalised older people were very low. Most physical activity was sustained over short periods. The intra-daily pattern of activity is an interesting finding which can help clinicians implement time-specific interventions to address the important issue of sedentary behaviour.


29542070 [Indexed for MEDLINE]



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