A US study shows that people who are less physically active are more likely to be hospitalised and die with Covid-19. According to these new calculations, being inactive puts you at a greater risk from Covid-19 than any other risk factor except age and having had an organ transplant. If this is right, it’s a big deal.
In the study, healthcare providers asked people about how much they exercised over a two-year period prior to the pandemic. Using this information, people were categorised into three groups. The first group – described as “consistently inactive” – exercised for no more than ten minutes per week. The second group engaged in “some activity” – exercising for between 11 minutes and 149 minutes a week. The third group consistently met physical activity guidelines, exercising for 150 minutes a week or more. Exercise was defined as moderate to strenuous activity, an example being a “brisk walk”.
Compared to people who were exercising for at least 150 minutes a week, people who were consistently inactive were over twice as likely to be hospitalised and to die due to Covid-19. They also had a greater risk of hospitalisation and death than people doing some physical activity.
There are a lot of reasons to trust this study. It uses data from almost 50,000 people who had Covid-19 between January and October 2020. The information on how much they exercised was collected before Covid-19 came on the scene – which means answers were not affected by people’s Covid-19 outcomes. The researchers also tried to take into account things that might skew the picture – for example, how old someone was and what other health conditions they had. (The Guardian)
My comment: Personally, I go to the gym and use a walking machine, 3 miles, 4 mph at 5 degrees angle. This I do three times a week, plus exercises given me by my physical therapist. I’m not saying this to brag ( my wife does much, much more) but it keeps you more active , alert and has some bearing on your weight. I feel Epicurus would approve. Healthy body, healthy mind ( I hope!).