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0 0.5 1 1.5 2+ Moderate case 30% Improvement Relative Risk Case -9% Exercise for COVID-19  Bielik et al.  Prophylaxis Does physical activity reduce risk for COVID-19? Retrospective 1,140 patients in Slovakia (December - December 2020) Fewer moderate/severe cases with higher activity levels (not stat. sig., p=0.1) Bielik et al., Int. J. Environmental R.., Jul 2021 Favors exercise Favors inactivity

A Possible Preventive Role of Physically Active Lifestyle during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic; Might Regular Cold-Water Swimming and Exercise Reduce the Symptom Severity of COVID-19?

Bielik et al., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph18137158
Jul 2021  
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Exercise for COVID-19
9th treatment shown to reduce risk in October 2020
*, now known with p < 0.00000000001 from 66 studies.
No treatment is 100% effective. Protocols combine complementary and synergistic treatments. * >10% efficacy in meta analysis with ≥3 clinical studies.
3,800+ studies for 60+ treatments.
Retrospective 1,544 participants in Slovakia, showing a lower risk of more severe COVID-19 for physically active participants, without statistical significance.
risk of moderate case, 30.4% lower, RR 0.70, p = 0.10, high activity levels 775, low activity levels 365, adjusted per study, physically active group.
risk of case, 9.1% higher, RR 1.09, p = 0.36, high activity levels 775, low activity levels 365, adjusted per study, physically active group.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. Submit updates
Bielik et al., 4 Jul 2021, retrospective, Slovakia, peer-reviewed, survey, 3 authors, study period 7 December, 2020 - 12 December, 2020.
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A Possible Preventive Role of Physically Active Lifestyle during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic; Might Regular Cold-Water Swimming and Exercise Reduce the Symptom Severity of COVID-19?
Viktor Bielik, Marian Grendar, Martin Kolisek
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph18137158
The objective of this study was to investigate the incidence and course of COVID-19 and the risk of an upper respiratory tract infection in a group of people with physically active lifestyles. Data were collected anonymously using an online survey platform during December 2020. The age of participants ranged from 18 to 65 years. Out of 2343 participants, 11.5% overcame COVID-19 infection. Relative to the control group (CTRL), physically active, cold-water swimmers (PACW) did not exhibit a lower risk of incidence for COVID-19 (RR 1.074, CI 95% (0.710-1.625). However, PACW had a higher chance of having an asymptomatic course of COVID-19 (RR 2.321, CI 95% (0.836-6.442); p < 0.05) and a higher chance of only having an acute respiratory infection once or less per year than CTRL (RR 1.923, CI 95% (1.1641-2.253); p < 0.01). Furthermore, PACW exhibited a lower incidence of acute respiratory infection occurring more than twice per year (RR 0.258, CI 95% (0.138-0.483); p < 0.01). Cold-water swimming and physical activity may not lessen the risk of COVID-19 in recreational athletes. However, a physically active lifestyle might have a positive effect on the rate of incidence of acute respiratory infection and on the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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