In-bed Cycling Exercise May Speed Up Recovery For ICU Patients


To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious. Cycling exercise is one of the easiest ways to stay fit in your daily routine. It is the best way to build your cardiovascular fitness. Likewise, a new study suggests that in-bed cycling during the stay in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) may help some patients recover more quickly.

Scientists from the at McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have conducted this study. They have discovered that physiotherapists can safely start in-bed cycling sessions with critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients early on in their ICU stay.

Study finds that it is safe and feasible to systematically start in-bed cycling.

Lead author Michelle Kho said, “People may think that ICU patients are too sick for physical activity. But we know that if patients start in-bed cycling two weeks into their ICU stay, they will walk farther at hospital discharge.

ICU patients survive at higher risk for muscle weakness and disability. In-bed cycling targets the legs, especially the hip flexors. It is the most vulnerable to these effects during bed rest. In-bed cycling strengthens their muscles and health as well. This causes the patient to go home sooner by making them happy and strong.

Scientists said, “This not only benefits the patient but could alleviate the high cost of critical care for the health care system. TryCYCLE is the first of a series of studies that will determine the effects of early in-bed cycling with critically ill patients.

Scientists involved 33 patients who were admitted in ICU from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. They then provide a special in-bed cycling equipment to patients. This treatment in the ICU was 30 minutes of supine cycling.

During early cycling within the first four days, patients found with stable blood flow.

These achievements even surprised the researchers.

Kho said, “Patients’ abilities to cycle during critical illness exceeded our expectations. Still, we need some more research to determine if this early cycling with critically ill patients improves their physical function.


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.