Covid-19 patients who are physically inactive are at higher risk of severe health complications that may require hospitalisation or lead to death, according to a new study.
Covid-19 patients who have been consistently physically inactive are at an alarmingly high risk of hospitalisation, ICU admission and death, according to a new report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Researchers conducted a study to assess whether inactivity was associated with the outcomes of the novel coronavirus, which has brought much of the world to a standstill since March last year.
Among 48,440 patients in the study, 14.4% were consistently inactive in the past two years before they were diagnosed with Covid-19, 79.1% were considered more physically active, and 6.4% consistently met recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week.
Compared with those who consistently met activity guidelines, people who were less active were more than twice as likely to be hospitalised and even die from Covid-19, according to the report.
Consistently inactive patients also experienced worse symptoms than those who of the second group who exercised but not enough to meet the minimum recommended standard of two and a half hours per week.
“It is well known that immune function improves with regular physical activity, and those who are regularly active have a lower incidence, intensity of symptoms and death from viral infections,” said co-author Dr. Robert Sallis of the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in California.
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“Regular physical activity is associated with improvements in lung capacity and cardiovascular and muscular functioning that may serve to lessen the negative impacts of Covid-19 if it is contracted,” he added.
Despite all efforts by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, the Gulf state is now facing an alarming number of positive cases, hospital admissions and even deaths.
According to the latest ministry figures, Qatar currently has a total of 22,392 active Covid-19 cases and has recorded 386 deaths – a number that has increased dramatically in recent weeks.
“Consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk for severe Covid-19 outcomes among infected adults,” researches concluded.
“We recommend efforts to promote physical activity be prioritised by public health agencies and incorporated into routine medical care”.