Ditch the daggy PJs and get moving

Westmead Hospital staff threw on their pyjamas to encourage patients like Elias Mardini (left) to get up, get dressed and get moving.

If a doctor or nurse asks you to get changed out of your pyjamas, don’t take it personally – it may actually help you get better sooner.

Westmead and Auburn hospitals have set a goal of getting at least 50 per cent of patients dressed in their own clothes every day as part of the global health campaign #endPJparalysis.

Patient experience coordinator Tamara Stevens said the idea is people will feel more confident and empowered to keep active if they are wearing their own day clothes.

“We all know the joy of a lazy day spent in our most comfortable pyjamas, preferably curled up on the lounge with the TV remote and snacks in arm’s reach,” Tamara said.

“But when it comes to your health in hospital, that instinct might be holding you back from a speedy recovery. In your day clothes you’ll feel more confident to get up and moving.

“On average this will reduce your length of stay by one and a half days. For people over 80, just 10 days of bed rest can result in 1.5kg of muscle loss! So it’s important we all work together to reduce the risk of muscle deconditioning.”

Westmead Hospital patient Elias Mardini was one of the first people to experience the benefits of the new campaign.

Elias with clinical nurse consultant Felinda Cadavero.

“Wearing your own clothes is a lot more comfortable than wearing a bed gown any day of the week. It’s easier to get out of bed and walk around,” Elias said.

“You feel normal. You’re in hospital but you’re at least a little bit normal.”

The program is currently being trialled in selected wards at Westmead and Auburn hospitals, where patient outcomes including length of stay will be measured to see any improvements.

Patients and carers are encouraged to bring comfortable day clothes and footwear to make it easier to get up and get moving each day – and end PJ paralysis!