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Pre-surgery fitness programme reduces patients' stay in hospital

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that light fitness activity prior to surgery contributed to patients spending less time in hospital.
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Patients who 'train' their body before undergoing surgery spend less time in hospital and have reduced medical costs, a US study has found.

Researchers evaluated patients taking part in their Michigan Surgical and Health Optimisation Program prior to major general and thoracic surgery between 2014 and 2015.

The programme, developed by the University of Michigan group, involved the patients improving their diet, reducing stress and participating in light physical activity.

Most patients were advised to walk 12 miles per week, or around one hour of walking per day. Of the 641 patients taking part, 82% were actively engaged and recorded physical activity at least three times a week, the researchers said.

Stay reduction

Once compared with a control group and adjusted for variables, the researchers found

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Patients who 'train' their body before undergoing surgery spend less time in hospital and have reduced medical costs, a US study has found.


Before undergoing surgery, patients were advised to walk for an hour a day. Picture: iStock

Researchers evaluated patients taking part in their Michigan Surgical and Health Optimisation Program prior to major general and thoracic surgery between 2014 and 2015. 

The programme, developed by the University of Michigan group, involved the patients improving their diet, reducing stress and participating in light physical activity.

Most patients were advised to walk 12 miles per week, or around one hour of walking per day. Of the 641 patients taking part, 82% were actively engaged and recorded physical activity at least three times a week, the researchers said. 

Stay reduction 

Once compared with a control group and adjusted for variables, the researchers found that patients in the programme had their average hospital stay reduced from seven days to five. There was also a reduction in medical costs of 28%.

The university's professor of burn surgery Stewart Wang said: 'The condition of the body is so important. It's so much common sense that people often fail to recognise it.'

Future research will consider how the programme can be more widely adopted.


Englesbe et al (2017) The Michigan Surgical Home and Optimization Program is a scalable model to improve care and reduce costs. Surgery. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2016.12.021

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