Levels of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior During and After Hospitalization: A Systematic Review

Asher G. Kirk, Kate J. Behm, Lara A. Kimmel, Christina L. Ekegren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To systematically review and synthesize the evidence on physical activity and sedentary behavior during and after hospitalization. Data Sources: Electronic databases and reference lists of relevant articles were searched from 2000 to April 2020. Study Selection: Studies which continuously monitored physical activity and/or sedentary behavior in hospitalized adults across 2 settings (ie, without a break in measurement between settings). Monitoring could occur from an acute to a subacute or rehabilitation hospital setting, an acute setting to home, or from a subacute or rehabilitation setting to home. Date Extraction: Data extraction and methodological quality assessments were independently performed by 2 reviewers using standardized checklists. Data Synthesis: A total of 15 of the 5579 studies identified were included. The studies were composed of heterogenous patient populations. All studies monitored patients with either an accelerometer and/or pedometer and reported a variety of measures, including steps per day, sedentary time, and activity counts. The majority of studies (12 of 15) showed that patients engaged in 1.3 to 5.9 times more physical activity and up to 67% less daily sedentary behavior at home after discharge from acute or subacute settings. Conclusions: Patients engaged in more physical activity and less sedentary behavior at home compared to both the acute and subacute hospital settings. This may reflect the natural course of recovery or the effect of setting on activity levels. Enabling early discharge home through the implementation of home-hospitalization models may result in increased patient physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior. Further experimental studies are required investigating the effect of home-based models of care on physical activity and sedentary behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1378
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Exercise
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review
  • Sedentary behavior

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