Better understanding of older patients’ perspective on physical, motivational and environmental barriers and enablers in physical activity promotion during hospitalization contributes to the development of strategies to increase in hospital physical activity. Using a mixed method approach, barriers and enablers from patients (in)dependent in physical activity (Functional Ambulation Categories ≥4 versus <4) were identified. Forty-nine patients (median age 77 years IQR:75-83, female: n = 25) were interviewed. Barriers reported as most important were feeling weak (n = 10), having lines/drains (n = 9) and pain (n = 7) and enablers reported as most important were feeling physically independent (n = 19), sense of importance of physical activity (n = 12), and maintaining physical strength (n = 10). Physically dependent patients were more frequently encouraged by professionals to be physically active compared to independent patients. Focus on physical barriers and motivational enablers for older patients may help to increase their physical activity during hospitalization and encouragement by health care professionals should also encompass physically independent patients.