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Greater exercise activity is tied to less severe COVID-19 outcomes, a study shows

A bottle of disinfectant sits by gym equipment in a park in the eastern suburbs of Sydney Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Personal trainers turned a waterfront park at Sydney's Rushcutters Bay into an outdoor gym to get around pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Mark Baker
/
AP
A bottle of disinfectant sits by gym equipment in a park in the eastern suburbs of Sydney Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Personal trainers turned a waterfront park at Sydney's Rushcutters Bay into an outdoor gym to get around pandemic lockdown restrictions.

A regular exercise routine may significantly lower the chances of being hospitalized or even dying from COVID-19, recently published research shows.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined the anonymized records of patients of Kaiser Permanente. The research examined a sample size of 194,191 adults who had a positive COVID-19 test between January 2020 and May 2021 and were asked to self-report their exercise patterns at least three times in the two years before contracting the virus.

The always inactive group was defined as getting 10 minutes of exercise a week or less; mostly inactive meant between 10 and 60 minutes per week; some activity ranged between 60 and 150 minutes a week; consistently active translated into a median of 150 minutes or more per week and always active equaled more than 150 minutes per week on all self-assessments.

Those who had less than 10 minutes of physical activity a week were 91% more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 and 291% more likely to die from it than those who were consistently active.

"The benefits of reducing physical inactivity should lead to its recommendation as an additional pandemic control strategy for all, regardless of demographics or chronic disease status," the study's researchers said.

About 2% of patients were vaccinated before a COVID-19 infection.

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Ayana Archie