Researchers linked regular physical activities to a lower risk of extreme Covid-19, according to a new study published on April 13, 2021. The Kaiser Permanente study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at nearly 50,000 adults with Covid-19. The study determined that people who followed the US Department of Health and Human Services’ physical activity requirements — at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week — showed significantly lower incidences of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and death due to Covid-19 disease. The recommendations, which are focused on evidence supporting the ability of physical activity to enhance immune function, minimize systemic inflammation, increase pulmonary and cardiovascular health, and strengthen mental health, are the same as the World Health Organization guidelines used by many countries.

Any physical activity that meets these recommendations will also help reduce the severity of Covid-19 symptoms. Acute Covid illness is only one of the many harmful consequences of sedentary activity, which is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. To date, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have established the following risk factors for extreme Covid-19: advanced age, male gender, and underlying comorbidities such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Many of the risk factors listed are difficult to minimize, if not impossible, so facing them may be challenging for individuals. The findings of this new research, on the other hand, may push inactivity to the top of that list.