Document Type


Publication Date

July 2006


This article was peer reviewed. It is the author's final version prior to publication in Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics 24(3):27-43. Copyright 2006 by Haworth Press, Inc. Copies of the final published version are available from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH or The published version is available at


Background and Purpose. Getting out of bed is difficult for 27.6% of people over 65. The purpose of this study is to describe movement patterns used by older adults for rising from bed.

Subjects. 42 healthy subjects between the ages of 65 and 90.

Methods. Subjects were videotaped performing 5 trials of getting out of bed. Movement patterns were categorized for each body part.

Results. A number of movement patterns occurred that were not reported in younger people. The most frequent movement patterns used were: “roll off” (38.3%) for the trunk, “double push” (34.7%) for the far arm, “multi-push” (36.0%) for the near arm, and “synchronous” (31.2%) for the legs.

Discussion and Conclusion. A variety of movement patterns are used by older people for rising from bed. Movement patterns described in this study can be used as a guide for physical therapists and occupational therapists in teaching age-appropriate strategies for getting out of bed.