- The Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Progress in Rehabilitation Medicine (ISSN:24321354)
- vol.7, pp.20220057, 2022 (Released:2022-11-12)
Objectives: Physical activity is an important prognostic factor in managing hemodialysis patients. During winter, physical activity decreases, which necessitates interventions to maintain physical function. This study investigated whether snow removal is an effective physical activity to maintain physical function in hemodialysis patients.Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined 32 patients (aged 68.9 ± 14.2 years, 21 men) who underwent hemodialysis at Uonuma Kikan Hospital from March 2021 to March 2022. The patients were divided into snow-remover and non-snow-remover groups. The primary outcome was the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Secondary outcomes were grip strength, skeletal muscle index, and physical activity level. Differences in outcomes between the groups were investigated at 1 year of follow-up.Results: The snow-remover group had significantly high SPPB score, grip strength (men), skeletal muscle index (men), and physical activity at baseline. The decline in SPPB after 1 year was significantly smaller in the snow-remover group than in the non-snow-remover group. The level of physical activity in the non-snow-remover group decreased over time.Conclusions: Snow removal contributed to the maintenance of physical function in hemodialysis patients after 1 year. However, snow removal is not recommended for all hemodialysis patients, and further studies should identify other safe winter activities to maintain physical function.