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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Study confirms good physical activity limits risks associated with COVID

People who regularly practice physical activity have a lower risk of contracting COVID and developing severe symptoms, concludes a study published this Tuesday, although with limitations acknowledged by its own authors.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, indicates that “regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of infection”, as well as a better prognosis in terms of “hospitalisation, severity and mortality”.

It is already well established that good physical activity favors a better response of the body to respiratory diseases in general, but this work focuses on COVID.

This is not a separate study, but an analysis that takes and compiles fifteen pre-existing works.

The authors indicate that regular physical activity reduces the risk of infection and, above all, hospitalization (-36%) and death (-43%).

To reach the maximum point, the authors estimate it takes at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

However, the study has limitations and does not allow us to conclude which mechanisms prevail in the organism.

Good physical activity is likely to improve the immune response, but it is also likely to limit certain risk factors for COVID, such as being overweight.

The authors caution that the conclusions should be taken “with caution” because the methodology of the studies used varies widely.

Most are based on patient-reported physical activity data, not objective assessment.

The researchers also do not rule out the risk of bias that would lead to publishing only the most conclusive studies on the positive impact of physical activity.

But “our findings may guide doctors and health officials” to recommend levels of physical activity, especially in cases of high risk of COVID, the authors conclude.

AFP

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