During a hospital stay, patients spend over 80% of their time in bed, often without medical justification. Patients are labeled as "ill" and are therefore inclined to rest in bed as much as possible. Additionally, a patient might feel like they would be in the way of nurses. However, movement actually helps in recovering faster. To bring about a change, the concept of active hospitals has emerged.
An active hospital is a healthcare facility where movement is encouraged through various interventions and the hospital's design. This includes floor stickers of running tracks, posters promoting exercise, activity rooms, and multiple walking routes. Physical inactivity during a hospital stay leads to declines in muscle strength and fitness. The goal of an active hospital is to ensure a higher level of patient functioning upon discharge. For instance, through an activity coach or, as in the case of the MUMC+ active hospital, via multiple Bike Labyrinth systems.
It's been observed that many patients stay in their rooms all day when they expect a nurse to come by. They end up spending the whole day in bed in their pajamas. By starting the day right by getting dressed in the morning, you're more likely to engage in activities. Additionally, many active hospitals provide door hangers that patients can hang on their doors indicating they're taking a walk, along with a phone number in case the doctor comes by. This way, patients can go out with peace of mind.
The goal of an active hospital is to get the patient fit as quickly as possible and ensure a higher level of patient functioning upon discharge. Additionally, an active hospital offers several benefits:
Active hospitals in the Netherlands originated a few years ago from the "Expert Group Active Hospitals." This expert group was formed to come up with a joint approach to address physical inactivity during a hospital stay. The expert group consists of various hospitals and has worked on a Position Statement on Active Hospitals. This statement provides guidelines to physiotherapists for implementing an active hospital within their healthcare facility.
Perhaps active hospitals will become the future standard for healthcare facilities. Bike Labyrinth certainly believes so! Do your patients want to cycle with Bike Labyrinth but are hesitant to leave their rooms? Download our Bike Labyrinth door hanger below. You can print and cut it out so that patients can cycle with peace of mind.