Recently, a group of physiotherapists in Brazil tackled this problem with a randomised trial. They tested wheter specific advice to remain active from a physiotherapist, given soon after admission, would combat the 'pyjama paralysis' that affects so many hospitalised older people.
The experimental group received a booklet with content about the deleterious effects of hospitalisation and the importance of staying active during hospitalisation. The control group received usual hospital care only.
Patients in the experimental group took an average of 974 more steps per day than those in the control group. They were also almost one-fifth as likely to lose mobility - which was defined as a reduction in the ability to move themselves in bed, in a chair, and in standing, as well as their static and dynamic balance.