Evaluation of a technology assisted physical activity intervention among hospitalised patients: A randomised study

Eur J Intern Med. 2019 Nov:69:50-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2019.08.019. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


Background: Physical inactivity is common during hospitalisation and poses a threat to functional capacity and independency in the elderly.

Aim: We aimed to assess the effect of physical activity measurements with visual feedback about time spent in various activities on the average daily time spent out of bed during hospitalisation.

Methods: We recorded physical activity during hospitalisation by accelerometers and compared the effect of the visual feedback (intervention) with no feedback (control) on time spent out of bed. Patients admitted to the pulmonary ward were invited and assigned to intervention with feedback or control with no feedback in 6 alternating waves of approximately 18 patients each. The order of feedback/no feedback was randomised at the outset of the study. The visual feedback intervention group was provided with visual feedback of the daily time spent in bed, sitting, standing, and walking. The control group did not receive feedback.

Results: 93 patients completed the study with a median length of stay of 5 days. Across all patients there were no statistically significant group differences in daily time out of bed; however, patients with independent mobility spent 51 minutes (95% CI 0 to 102; P = .049) more out of bed when provided with visual feedback compared to no feedback.

Conclusions: A simple technology assisted physical activity intervention with visual feedback to encourage mobility was not effective at increasing time spent out of bed among hospitalised patients. With feedback, a subgroup of patients with independent walking abilities increased time out of bed and may benefit from this type of intervention.

Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01945749.

Keywords: Bedrest; Hospitalisation; Physical inactivity; Technology assisted physical activity; Visual feedback.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Feedback, Sensory*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01945749