Prolonged Bed Rest with Injury or Disease – why this is not a good idea!

There are many reasons why prolonged bed rest and reduction in physical activity are not always the best options in managing already poor health; these include reductions in musculoskeletal performance, cardiovascular efficiency, pulmonary function, neuromuscular function, and psychological well-being.

Furthermore, reductions in physical activity causes muscle wasting, changes in muscle properties, and reductions in bone density. Muscle atrophy and reduced bone density lead to diminished musculoskeletal strength and performance and contribute to an increased risk for bone fractures and musculoskeletal injuries generally. Persons with generalised weakness and musculoskeletal atrophy should, whenever possible, include strength and cardiovascular training in their rehabilitation programs. It must be noted that compromised skeletal integrity such as fractures may in some cases prevent weight-bearing activities however; there is nearly always a form of non-weight-bearing aerobic activities that may be utilised for people with bone and joint disease that will promote benefits.


For more information contact No Barriers on and we will be happy to advise you. Generalised weakness associated with illness or treatments can be more debilitating than the condition or disease itself. And it’s not just the physical deterioration that comes inactivity during illness, recent reviews of the literature support aerobic exercise training as positively influencing psychological well-being in both healthy subjects and people with for example cancer. Aerobic exercise training may influence psychological well-being through psychological and physiological factors. The psychological factors that result from aerobic exercise training and may positively influence psychological well-being include distraction from the stressful condition, enhanced self-esteem, improved self-efficacy from mastery of a task, improved physical independence, and the development of a social support group.

The health benefits that could be achieved from regular participation in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise include the following:


  • Reductions in premature death from heart disease
  • Reductions in the development of diabetes
  • Reductions in the development of high blood pressure
  • Reductions in the development of colon cancer
  • Reductions in depression and anxiety Improvements in weight control
  • Maintenance of bone, muscle, and joint health
  • Improved strength and fall prevention in older adults
  • Improved psychological well-being


With disease or disability that is on-going it is important your doctor approves any exercise prior to participation, this is especially important if you are undergoing treatment of any sort as exercise such as using the exoskeleton which may need to be monitored or conducted with special limitations/considerations or special specific exercise. If you are unsure about what are the best exercise for you contact us at No Barriers for a free telephone consultation to discuss this in more detail.