Quantifying Physical Activity Levels and Sleep in Hemodialysis Patients Using a Commercially Available Activity Tracker

Blood Purif. 2016;41(1-3):194-204. doi: 10.1159/000441314. Epub 2016 Jan 15.


Background/aims: Hemodialysis (HD) patients are less active than their healthy counterparts and frequently experience poor sleep. Our aims were to objectively quantify activity and sleep quality in HD patients of an urban population and to determine the effect of providing feedback on activity.

Methods: Activity parameters and sleep parameters were collected by a commercially available activity tracker in 29 chronic HD patients. Patients in the feedback group were provided with their activity and sleep data during each HD treatment. Questionnaires were administered at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Results: On average, patients walked 8,454 steps/day and slept 349 min/night. Only 28% of the patients were sedentary, defined as walking <5,000 steps/day. Providing feedback did not increase the activity in this urban population. Patients walked significantly less on Sundays compared to other days of the week: 7,024 steps on Sundays vs. 8,633 steps on HD days and 8,732 on non-HD days. It was also found that patients experienced poor sleep quality. HD treatments during shift 1 (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) interfered with sleep patterns. Most patients reported that physical activity became more important to them after the 5-week period. The tracking device was very well accepted.

Conclusion: Interventions to increase physical activity on Sundays could improve physical activity levels overall. Prospective studies are necessary to further explore the use of tracking devices to identify patients at risk and to implement targeted interventions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fitness Trackers*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Walking / physiology*