Research Study Abstract

Changes in Intensity and Duration of Walking among Older Adults from In-Patient Geriatric Rehabilitation to Home

  • Published on October 15, 2018

We compared walking in hospital and on discharge from in-patient geriatric rehabilitation. Method: Participants included 28 adults (22 women) with a mean age of 85.4 (SD 6.8) years, ambulating independently with planned discharge to the community. Steps per day, short and long walking bouts, and cadence (steps per minute) were measured using an ActiGraph GT3X+ activity monitor (5 d in hospital, 5 d at home). Results: Steps per day did not differ between hospital and home (median difference=401; 95% CI: −364, 1,215; p=0.10). Long walking bouts (≥5 min) were infrequent in both locations (1/d) but lasted longer in hospital. Short walking bouts (≥15 s) were more frequent and shorter at home. Daily peak 1-minute cadence and peak 30-minute cadence were greater in hospital. Conclusions: Older adults in geriatric rehabilitation take longer walks and walk at faster paces in hospital, and they engage in more frequent, shorter walks at home. Although further research is needed, older adults would benefit from the opportunity to walk at different paces and different distances on discharge. Outpatient rehabilitation or other community-based programmes and initiatives may provide these experiences and appropriate environments to enable individuals to maintain mobility and independent functioning in the long term.


  • Sandra C. Webber 1
  • Philip D. St. John 2


  • 1

    Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

  • 2

    Section of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB


Physiotherapy Canada


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