June 25, 2024

New study: Regular exercise shielded patients from severe COVID


In this April 17, 2021 report for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Paul Sisson reports on the findings of a new study involving 48,000 patients of Kaiser Permanent in Southern California.

According to the study, patients who were regularly engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise per week when they were diagnosed with COVID-19 had significantly lower odds of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission and death than those who estimated their weekly exercise at 10 minutes or less.

The researchers also found that the risk of hospitalization among those with low levels of physical activity was more than twice those that had at least 2.5 hours of weekly exercise. Moreover, those who had low activity levels has 2.5 times higher chances of death than those with high activity levels.

Dr. James Sallis, professor emeritus at UC San Diego’s Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and co-author of the study says that this recent research is consistent with findings on research for other types of diseases. He said, “Physical activity is one of the most powerful producers of health that exists, and yet it’s basically ignored in most medical care”.

He adds that his colleagues should make a call for maintaining as much exercise during the “pandemic”, alongside other coronavirus measures, as exercise is “critical to immune system function, and inflammation reduction“. [Emphasis added].

Read the actual research at the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Editor’s Note: Lockdowns, work-from-home schemes, and school closures have all decreased physical activity among the young. Is it any surprise that after one year of sedentary living, more people below 60 years old are now being hospitalized due to COVID-19?[1]https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/12/health/b117-covid-variant-young-patients/index.html

It isn’t because the “new strains” are more contagious, it is because the lack of physical activity has also decreased the overall health of those who have been forced to stay at home due to coronavirus measures. [Remember that contagiousness is not the same as severity of disease, see New York Times: The coronavirus is mutating, and that’s fine. Also read this article to understand why a mutating virus is a good thing for the human immune system Our immune system is the biggest mystery during this coronavirus outbreak].

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