Movement Matters Making Big Strides


Movement Matters

When Martin Sobocan's family member was in the hospital recently, he says moving made all the difference.

"The Movement Matters program had a significant impact on my loved one's journey and I am grateful for that. It provided my family with a framework so that we could be involved in the recovery process. For that reason, I am happy to provide support and encourage the staff to keep up this excellent initiative."

The Movement Matters program started in September after a corporate review of "Barriers to Discharge" showed one of the top reasons delaying patients' discharges from the hospital was because they were not strong enough to walk.

The goal of the program is to help maintain or improve patient strength and prevent unnecessary complications that could lead to longer hospital stays, by motivating "at-risk" patients to get out of bed and get moving.

"Patients can lose their strength very quickly in hospital, up to 5% of muscle mass each day," says Karen McCullough, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Nursing Executive. "Through this initiative, we are encouraging them to stay strong by taking that extra step, going the extra distance and seeing how much ground we can cover together."


The Movement Matters program targets patients, including seniors, who are most likely to stay in bed during their hospital stay. These patients are identified when they are admitted into the hospital and work with their care teams to set appropriate mobility goals and then track and monitor how far they go. Every time participating patients walk to the washroom, down the hall or around the unit floor, the distance covered is recorded in their charts.

The total distance covered by patients on all units at both WRH campuses is then tracked and shared across the organization and online.


Since the Movement Matters Program began in September, participating patients have clocked a total of 295 km, which is about the distance from the WRH Ouellette Campus to the community of Morriston, Ontario, which is south of Milton on Highway 401.

Today, at the first quarterly pit stop, teams heard about the impact this is having on patients including Sobocan's family member.

"Many Thanks to Windsor Regional Hospital and especially the staff of 4 north at the Met Campus," said Sobocan. "Recovery is a team effort. I cannot wait to see the results in the future."


A study by the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario shows one-third of older patients who are hospitalized develop new disabilities that affect their daily living during their hospital stay. Half of those patients are unable to recover function.

By getting patients moving, the Movement Matters Program hopes to help patients by:

  • Reducing patients' risk of depression, delirium, joint pain, falls, constipation and pressure injuries like bedsores;
  • Improving patients' mobility, mood, blood circulation, appetite, and sleep;
  • Decreasing unnecessary hospital stays resulting from lack of mobility; and
  • Preparing patients for a safe transition home.

"The program gives patients an opportunity to maintain and build strength and confidence," says Tara Corra-Pella, an Ambulation Assistant involved in the project. "Often patients need encouragement, especially when they are not feeling well and through this program, they see every step makes a difference and every day we encourage them to go a little further."


Sponsorship from Sobocan Insurance and Financial Services will assist with the next leg of the program, which includes new equipment to help patients feel more confident in their travels around the hospital and prize incentives for staff who show "Walk Star" qualities by going above and beyond to motivate patients.

The hospital will review the results of the program at quarterly hospital events and regularly update the distance covered by the patients on the Road to Recovery at

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