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Chair exercise video gets patients moving

Chair exercise video gets patients moving

Physiotherapists, led by Mary Haller, developed the “Move and Improve” video that helps increase older patients’ daily physical activity, to reduce the effects of deconditioning while in hospital.

A patient on the A1 Geriatric Unit watches the chair exercise video on an iPad and follows the movements  – slowly stretching, raising her arms and lifting her legs.

“Patients tell us the exercises are easy to follow, that they like having volunteers to help them, and that they like the idea of using new technology,” said Physiotherapist Mary Haller, who led the video’s development along with The Ottawa Hospital’s Physiotherapy Best Practices committee.

The “Move and Improve” chair exercise video is aimed at boosting older inpatients’ daily physical activity to reduce the effects of deconditioning while in hospital.

“Increasing their daily mobility helps reduce the risk of muscle atrophy and loss of independence,” said Haller. “In turn, this may help shorten length of stay and reduce patients’ functional decline.”

Screened patients on certain units are asked if they want to do the chair exercises. If so, a volunteer sits at the patient’s bedside and runs the video on an iPad. The video can also be used outside the hospital, especially by older adults with mobility challenges who are housebound and people in assisted living or in long-term care homes.

Health-care providers can access the video and its accompanying screening tools on the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario’s website.

“The video is just another example of how our physiotherapy staff makes a difference to our patients’ well-being,” said Physiotherapist Dana Guest. “We play a significant role in health promotion and treating injury and disease. We combine our in-depth knowledge of physiology, function and movement with specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose and treat symptoms of illness, injury or disability.”

Physiotherapists work collaboratively with physiotherapy assistants to provide quality patient care.



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