Studies confirm that physical activity versus sedentary lifestyle protects against the most serious cases and mortality from Covid-19.
Covid-19 is starting what experts call the ‘fourth wave’ in Spain, and every day cases increase progressively again compared to the previous days and weeks. Despite the great efforts to vaccinate the population, infections do not stop.
For this reason, many studies continue to look for ways to reduce both infections and complications after contracting the COVID-19 disease. In this last aspect, a Kaiser Permanente study would have emphasized the relationship between Covid-19 and sport: Physically active individuals, or those who train regularly, would have less risk of ending up suffering from complications.
It should be noted that Greater protection does not mean total protection against an event. In this case, the new work published in the journal British Journal of Sports Medicine concludes that those people with a greater constancy when performing physical activity would be those who would have the least risk of ending up hospitalized, admitted to the ICU or dying because of the Covid-19.
In fact, even exercising inconsistent the chances of serious complications after infectionwould be reduced compared to sedentary people, according to new work by researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
According to Robert E. Sallis, MD, a family physician and sports physician at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, these results would be a wake-up call for the population, reconfirming the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, where physical activity is a basic pillar.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed data from 48,440 people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 between January 1, 2020 and October 21, 2020, who also had two or more Exercise Vital Sign measurements between March 2018 and March 2020.
This parameter is a measurement where patients are asked How many days a week do you exercise moderately or vigorously? and, on average, how many minutes they spend exercising at those levels. This is a measurement used in Kaiser Permanente outpatient clinics since 2009.
All the patients studied were from Southern California, with a mean age of 47 years, and 61.9% were women. Of all the patients analyzed, the 6.4% claimed to be constantly active, and the 14.4% claimed to be constantly inactive; the rest of the patients carried out irregular physical activity. Among all the patients, 8.6% were hospitalized, 2.4% ended up in the ICU, and 1.6% died of Covid-19 according to this work.
The results of the study would suggest that the physical inactivity would have a strong relationship with complications secondary to COVID-19, while physical activity provided significant protection against the risk of hospitalization in the ward or ICU, and even against the risk of mortality.
According to the data obtained, being constantly inactive would double the probability of being hospitalized, compared to being constantly active. Likewise, the constantly inactive patients studied had 1.73 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU, And till 2.49 times more likely to die because of the disease.
The data remained constant even after taking into account variables such as obesity or smoking in the statistical analyses; even taking them into account, physical activity made a significant difference.
Therefore, the researchers bet on a simple recipe: walk at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week at a moderate pace; Just by following this simple advice, they suggest, a great protective effect against complications from COVID-19 will be achieved.