People Who Were Consistently Active Prior to Getting COVID-19 Ran Less of a Risk for Hospitalization or Death

For years, researchers have studied the benefits of exercise in preventing dozens of health conditions. But can regular physical activity also help people lessen the impact of viruses like COVID-19?

It’s a question researchers at Kaiser Permanente asked during the height of the pandemic. From January to October 2020, they studied more than 48,000 adult patients with COVID-19 and linked their level of physical activity pre-COVID-19 to their risk for hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in April, showed people who were consistently active prior to getting COVID-19 ran less of a risk for hospitalization or death. The least active people in the study were hospitalized about 20% more often and were about 30% more likely to die from COVID-19 compared with those who were somewhat active.

“The exciting thing about this study is how it shows the favorable impact exercise can have on communicable diseases,” said Dr. Jessica Butts, who specializes in family medicine and sports medicine and sees patients at Penn State Health Medical Group – Nyes Road Family Practice II and Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. “It’s clear that staying active—and getting vaccinated—are two steps within your control that will reduce your risk for severe illness related to COVID-19.”

Exercise’s impact on COVID-19 outcomes adds to its proven ability to prevent or lessen the impact of diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, depression, osteoporosis and even dementia. Exercise also helps reduce the risk for breast and colon cancer and increases the life expectancy of those diagnosed.

“If we could take all the health benefits of exercise and bottle them up, it would literally be the ‘magic pill’ we’d use to treat almost anything,” Butts said. “Nothing else we can do in medicine can impact so many disease states.”

Providers with Penn State Health believe in the power of exercise so much that they’re piloting a Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS). It involves the healthcare team asking patients a question about exercise (“How many days per week do you exercise? And for how long?”) during their pre-appointment assessment. The answers will be kept in each patient’s electronic medical record.

“We’re the sixth health system in the nation using PAVS,” Butts said. “Doing so opens the door for us to do more research on how exercise impacts all facets of health.” PAVS is currently being piloted at two practices: Penn State Health Medical Group — Palmyra and Penn State Health Medical Group — Middletown.

Adults looking to get the most health benefits from exercise should follow U.S. Department of Health & Human Services guidelines, which recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. “Moderate means you’re breathing hard but can still carry on a conversation,” Butts said. “Vigorous means you’re working so hard you can barely get a few words out.”

Source: Penn State Health Medical Group

17 Comments on "People Who Were Consistently Active Prior to Getting COVID-19 Ran Less of a Risk for Hospitalization or Death"

  1. Great post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing.

  2. Good post. I’m facing many of these issues as well..

  3. Hello there! This post could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Right here is the perfect website for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful.

  5. Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this information.

  6. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the website is extremely good.

  7. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

  9. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and the rest of the website is very good.

  10. Greetings, There’s no doubt that your website may be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!

  11. This is the right website for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject which has been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just great.

  12. Great information. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later!

  13. Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  15. You should be a part of a contest for one of the greatest sites on the internet. I will recommend this blog!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*