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Being in bed for long periods of time can prolong your hospital stay and slow your recovery. In this handout we will explain why you need to get out of bed and move. You will learn safe ways to move while being a patient. 

To help your healing you must move your body. Getting out of bed and walking in the hallway will help your strength. 

Unused muscles are weak muscles. If you are not active in the hospital, you will become weaker. This leads to falls once you go home. 

Being in bed for long periods of time can prolong your hospital stay and slow your recovery. Our goal is for you to be able to resume your daily routine when you leave the hospital.

Benefits of Movement During Your Hospital Stay

  • Shorter hospital stays.

  • Maintain your muscle strength and energy.

  • Decreased chance of pneumonia, blood clots and bed sores.

  • Increased ability to care for yourself after discharge from hospital.

  • Decreased constipation and gas pain.

  • Improves flow of oxygen throughout your body.

  • Easier for toileting needs.

  • Improves blood flow and speeds up healing.

CALL – Don’t Fall

Always ask your care team before getting out of bed or attempting any activity. Our goal is your safety. 

What is safe for me to do? 

You will work with your care team to plan for your needs. Some patients begin with exercises in bed. You may need help to stand, sit in a chair or walk. Staff will help you. Your care team will discuss your plan and daily activity goals with you during your daily care team visit. 

What if I have concerns about getting out of bed?

Share your concerns with your care team. While many patients are hesitant to begin movement; most admit they feel better with activity. Patients that are active and get out of bed have less complications and often go home earlier. We will strive to balance pain management and activity. Talk to your nurse and doctor.

What puts you at risk for falling?

  • A fall in the past.

  • Medicine can make you drowsy or affect your ability to think clearly. .

  • Poor vision or balance problems.

Your family can help by encouraging you to get out of bed. Make sure you have what you need such as socks & shoes, glasses, hearing aids, braces, and clothing (robe, PJ pants). Family can help the staff walk with you by pushing IV poles or a wheelchair. Make sure to ask the care team what activities you should not do.