Earlier this year I went to visit patients on a Renal Rehabilitation Unit in London who are using these bikes. One patient said he used to be ‘the grumpiest man on dialysis’, but now he sleeps better, is more alert and is happier overall

Sarah Gilbert, Specialist Physiotherapist in Acute Medicine Therapy Service

Pedalling to wellbeing through dialysis

We all know that keeping fit benefits our overall health and wellbeing. But for chronic kidney disease patients who have to travel to hospital multiple times a week and spend hours connected to a haemodialysis machine, it's tough to fit the exercise they need into their routine. 

But exercise becomes even more important when you have to spend so much time sitting or lying down for treatment, and complications caused by inactivity are amplified in patients with kidney disease.

Growing evidence suggests that exercise during dialysis can improve the effectiveness of the treatment, by increasing blood flow and removal of toxins, as well as a patients overall health.

You have raised £25,000 to give kidney patients the chance to pedal through their diagnosis with a new integrated exercise program at Heeley Satellite Dialysis Unit, including:

  • three exercise bikes specially designed to fit around dialysis chairs and beds,
  • muscle strengthening equipment, and
  • a physiotherapist to fully implement and supervise the exercise programme.

Who will benefit?

Chronic kidney disease affects over 3 million people in the UK. The Sheffield Kidney Institute, part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, currently sees around 1,300 patients a year who are undergoing treatment or are awaiting a kidney transplant. Around 600 of those are being treated with dialysis both in hospital and in satellite units across the city.

The initial programme will be trialled by a group of medically suitable patients at Heeley Satellite Dialysis Unit for 12 months. If successful, it is hoped that it will then be opened up to other patients on dialysis across the Sheffield region. 

You have made sure that kidney patients in Sheffield will find it easier than ever to keep fit, active and healthy.

By working together we can do even more to support patients with kidney disease. Please help to spread the word by following us on Facebook and Twitter and sharing our stories.