The pandemic has caused changes in the lifestyles of people worldwide. With the influx of questions has come a surge of funding and research opportunities to find answers. One area of focus has been the severity and recovery of those who have survived COVID in respect to their exercise habits.
This study followed over 48 thousand adult patients of Kaiser Permanente that were diagnosed with COVID-19 over a 10 month period in 2020. The study shows the correlation between those patients’ physical activity levels and their COVID-10 outcomes.
“This is a wake-up call for the importance of healthy lifestyles and especially physical activity,” said Robert E. Sallis, MD, a family and sports medicine physician at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. “Kaiser Permanente’s motivation is to keep people healthy, and this study truly shows how important that is during this pandemic and beyond. People who regularly exercise had the best chance of beating COVID-19, while people who were inactive did much worse.”
Among all COVID-19 patients, 8.6% were hospitalized, 2.4% were admitted to the ICU, and 1.6% died.
The results of the study show inactivity is strongly associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes.
Physical activity provided strong protection from hospitalization, ICU admission, and death among COVID-19 patients.
Being consistently inactive more than doubled the odds of hospitalization compared with being consistently active.
Patients who were consistently inactive had 1.73 times greater odds of ICU admission than patients who were consistently active.
The odds for death were 2.49 times greater for patients who were consistently inactive compared with patients who were consistently active.
Other than being over age 60 or having a history of organ transplant, being consistently inactive conferred the highest risk for death from COVID-19.
Even patients who were inconsistently active had lower odds for severe COVID-19 when compared to those who were consistently inactive, suggesting any amount of physical activity has benefit.
Both the Medical Fitness Association and the CDC recommend exercising 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day. These exercise blocks can be effective with as little as 10 minutes continuous movement. Move at a pace quick enough to have difficulty whistling your favorite song. It has long been known that increased movement has benefits for physical and mental health. Reducing risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Knowledge is increasing to show the benefits for immune health and illness recovery durations. Start your health journey with a Health Risk Assessment. Visit our Fitness Centers for the help and motivation you need to increase your physical activity.