Nursing Diagnosis Activity Intolerance

Activity intolerance is a common symptom in older adults, but it can be treated. Nursing interventions can help alleviate this condition and restore the patient’s quality of life.

Nursing Diagnosis Activity Intolerance

1. Definition

Activity intolerance is a common problem in older adults. It can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and tasks, such as walking or sitting up from a chair. Activity intolerance may also be called deconditioning, impaired mobility or disability (IMD).

Activity intolerance is caused by an underlying health problem, such as osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s dementia. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of activity intolerance. For example, someone who once went regularly for walks may become less active with age and eventually avoid walking because they find it too difficult or painful; this person might develop activity intolerance as a result of their decreased activity level.

2. Related Factors

The following are some of the factors that can contribute to activity intolerance:

  • Inability to tolerate the increased heart rate and blood pressure required for body movement.
  • Increased pain associated with any activity, even a small one.
  • Anxiety or fear regarding what might happen as a result of the activity.
  • Muscle weakness, especially in the legs and arms.

3. Nursing Interventions and Rationales


  • Monitor for signs of activity intolerance, such as restlessness, irritability, and agitation.
  • Use a scale (e.g., visual analog scale) to rate the patient’s activity level on any given occasion and record this information in the medical record. The scale should include descriptors such as “active” or “sedentary” so that you can compare your patient’s current activity level with his or her usual one by asking him or her questions about typical behavior during different times of day (e.g., “How do you generally feel when it is time for breakfast?”).

4. Activity Intolerance is common in older adults but it can be treated.

You may have heard of Activity Intolerance before, but were unsure what it meant. Activity Intolerance is a nursing diagnosis that is common in older adults, and can be treated with physical therapy and medication. If you’re caring for an older adult with this condition, it’s important to understand how to manage it properly.

Activity Intolerance refers to the body’s inability to tolerate or handle certain activities or work demands that require walking or standing for long periods of time. The patient does not necessarily lack the strength or endurance necessary for performing these activities; rather, he/she has difficulty tolerating them because they cause discomfort or pain due to some other cause (such as arthritis).


Activity Intolerance is common in older adults but it can be treated.

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