East of England’s Deconditioning Games

Person exercising in chair

A patient at Bedford Hospital clocks up the miles using a pedal exerciser.

As an in-patient in hospital, a person will be much less active than normal, and this inactivity leads to ‘deconditioning’, which causes people to lose fitness or muscle tone, especially through lack of exercise.

This in turn leads to delayed discharges, increased risks of hospital acquired complications and leaves patients in a state of excessive dependency, unable to return home in time.

To address this, in the East of England we are holding our Deconditioning Games with teams from across our hospitals taking part, to raise awareness of and tackle the issues around deconditioning in hospitals, care homes, mental health and community services.

Over 100 teams are participating, making small changes in practice to keep people active and mobile and sharing examples of best practice.

Medals are awarded throughout the winter period to reflect the impact these initiatives can have to prevent functional decline, support a reduction in length of stay in hospital and their contribute to staff well-being.

Initiatives to get patients and staff on the move include a cycling ‘Tour de L&D’ challenge for staff and patients; initiatives involving volunteers and technology to support people to keep moving; and screening patients in ED using physical activity guidelines and providing advice and guidance on suitable exercise programmes.

With many hospitals struggling to discharge patients to suitable locations, our games will help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

For more information on the East of England’s Deconditioning Games please email england.deconditioning.games@nhs.net

Barry Hearn, the well known sports promoter, has given his backing to our Deconditioning Games.