Editor’s Note: See Medscape’s latest COVID-19 news and guidance. Coronavirus resource center.
A new study suggests that regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and its severity, with 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. Activity offers the best protection.
Dr. Antonio García Hermoso, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, said: and colleagues.
“Regular physical activity appears to be associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 infection, Garcia Hermosa said. Medscape Medical News“There is evidence that regular physical activity may contribute to a more effective immune response and strengthen protective immunity against infection, which explains the link between exercise consistency and COVID-19 infection.” It is possible.”
Regular exercise may also help improve the body’s anti-inflammatory response, cardiopulmonary function and muscle strength, all of which may explain its beneficial effects on COVID-19 severity, study finds said the person.
research is publish online today British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Strong protection from COVID?
Increasing evidence suggests that increased physical activity may modulate the course of COVID-19 infection and reduce the risk of poor prognosis. The new analysis is the first to systematically assess the impact of regular physical activity on her COVID-19 outcomes and pool the data.
The findings are based on data from 16 studies involving over 1.8 million adults (53% female, mean age 53 years).
Individuals who included regular physical activity in their weekly routine had an 11% lower risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 compared with their inactive peers (hazard ratio 0.89; 95% CI 0.84 – 0.95). .
Physically active adults had a 36% (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.54–0.76) lower risk of hospitalization, severe COVID-19 illness, and a 43% (HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.46 – 0.71) risk of dying from COVID-19 was lower than in inactive peers.
Maximum protective effect occurs by achieving at least 500 metabolic equivalents (MET) of physical activity per week. This equates to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. There are no additional benefits beyond this. level.
The researchers noted that the analysis included observational studies, different study designs, subjective assessments of physical activity levels, and only concerned beta and delta versions of SARS-CoV-2, not Omicron. I warn you.
Despite these limitations, the researchers “make recommendations and develop guidelines on the degree of physical activity that can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infectivity, hospitalization, severity, and mortality.” It could help guide physicians and health policy makers in making decisions,” said the researchers. both at individual and population levels, especially in high-risk patients. ”
Helpful, but not a panacea
Sean Heffron, M.D., Ph.D., a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City, asked for comment, saying the study “supports the well-established nonlinear association between increased physical activity and adverse outcomes from a variety of diseases.” there are,” he said. , including infectious diseases such as COVID-19. ”
The observation isn’t particularly surprising, he said. Medscape Medical News.
“That’s just what I’m guessing. They combined data from a number of studies published over the past few years, all with consistent results,” Heffron said.
“The takeaway from a public health perspective is that physical activity improves health in a myriad of ways. ) is important for everyone,” he said.
Also, Joseph Herrera DO, chairman of the Rehabilitation Division at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, said, “When you’re physically healthy, your body is more resilient and ready to deal with COVID and other stressors. It’s in order. Other disease processes.”
But for now, the question of whether fitness actually protects against COVID remains unclear. Medscape Medical News,
He has treated athletes in professional sports, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball, some of whom have been sick with COVID for a long time and have not returned to play. An athlete at his peak.”
Nonetheless, Herrera said staying fit or getting fit is generally a good public health message.
“That’s what I preach all the time,” he said. Medscape Medical News.
Garcia Hermosa agreed. “In contrast to most drugs, exercise has no adverse effects. It’s time to look at exercise as medicine. It’s never too late to start moving your body.”
There was no special funding for this study. Garcia Hermoso, H. Effron and Herrera have not reported any related financial relationships.
Br J Sport MedPublished online on August 22, 2022. full text