Exercise on dialysis: staying active to stay healthy

Deakin researchers have launched an Australian-first exercise program to help fight the debilitating physical side-effects suffered by patients undergoing dialysis treatment.

In partnership with Kidney Health Australia, resistance bands and exercise guides are being sent to every one of Australia's 300 units at more than 100 Australian hospitals.

Deakin Professor Paul Bennett said despite almost 12,000 Australians receiving dialysis treatment for chronic kidney disease, the importance of exercise was often overlooked.

"The combination of and sitting on dialysis – for four to five hours, three times a week – causes people to deteriorate physically at an alarming rate," Professor Bennett said.

"Exercise has been shown to improve physical function, quality of life, muscle condition and the dialysis treatment in patients with kidney disease, as well as decreasing depression, cardiovascular risk and a range of other negative outcomes of kidney disease.

"Kidney-related disease kills 56 Australians every day, so it's a silent disease that not only kills but affects physical function and quality of life.

"The kits we're sending to every across the country will equip exercise professionals, nurses and patients with what they need to start and sustain a gentle program that will encourage patients to exercise during their dialysis treatment."

The program is designed to be repeated up to three times a week at every dialysis treatment.

Provided by Deakin University
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