Doctor explains if exercise can protect against severe Covid
A certified pulmonary medicine and critical care specialist, Dr Mike Hansen has created content throughout the pandemic to dispel medical misinformation and clarify what people should know about the coronavirus and the vaccine. In his latest video, he breaks down the results of a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which is the first of its kind to directly examine the link between exercise and severe Covid disease.
The institute that conducted this study has historically used to determine a patient’s “vital sign” for exercise by asking how often and for how long they engage in moderate to intense physical activity. This lasted for years before the pandemic, which means that for this study, researchers were able to investigate more than 48,000 adults diagnosed with Covid between January and November 2020 before the vaccination rollout began.
Respondents were divided into three groups; those whose activity exceeded 150 minutes per week, those who were active 11 to 149 minutes per week, and those who were constantly inactive, with 10 minutes or less of exercise per week. Pre-existing health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure were also taken into account.
The big takeaway from the study is that people who were constantly inactive had a significantly higher risk of hospitalization, ICU admission and death after contracting Covid-19 compared to those who were active. for at least 150 minutes a week, ”says Hansen. The middle group, on the other hand, had some protection against serious illness or death from Covid-19, but not as much as the first group.
“This was a study examining the correlation between exercise and the severity of Covid disease,” he adds. “More studies will be needed to confirm these results, but based on what we have, this is one more reason to encourage and promote physical activity for everyone.”
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