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Exercise for COVID-19
66 studies from 600 scientists
1,936,481 patients in 28 countries
Statistically significant lower risk for mortality, ventilation, ICU, hospitalization, progression, recovery, and cases.
51 studies from 51 teams in 24 countries show statistically significant improvements.
48% lower mortality in 19 studies CI 38-57%
Most studies analyze exercise before infection.
COVID-19 Exercise studies. Apr 2024. c19early.org
0 0.5 1 1.5+ All studies 39% With exclusions 38% Mortality 48% Hospitalization 33% Cases 23% Prophylaxis 39% Late 47% Favorsexercise Favorsinactivity
Most studies analyze activity levels before infection, comparing regular/moderate exercise and lower/no exercise. Risk may increase with more extreme activity levels. Exercise may also be beneficial after infection. One study shows lower COVID-19 mortality with exercise during hospitalization Fernandez. Recent:
Zhang
Yadav
Muñoz-Vergara
Wang.
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Apr 22
Covid Analysis Exercise for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 66 studies
Statistically significant lower risk is seen for mortality, ventilation, ICU admission, hospitalization, progression, recovery, and cases. 51 studies from 51 independent teams in 24 countries show statistically significant improvements. M..
Mar 24
Yadav et al., Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.jaim.2024.100897 Effect of Yoga-based breathing practices on depression, anxiety, stress, and fear of COVID-19 positive hospitalized patients: A randomized controlled trial
RCT 63 hospitalized COVID-19 patients showing significant reductions in depression, anxiety, stress, and fear scores with breathing exercises 30 minutes per day for 10 days.
Mar 22
Zhang et al., Critical Care Research and Practice, doi:10.1155/2024/4118896 Effects of the High-Intensity Early Mobilization on Long-Term Functional Status of Patients with Mechanical Ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit
Non-COVID-19 RCT showing that high-intensity early mobility in mechanically ventilated ICU patients improved functional status and independence. Authors also reported improved mobility, muscle strength, and lower incidence of ICU-acquired..
Feb 13
Muñoz-Vergara et al., JAMA Network Open, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.55808 Prepandemic Physical Activity and Risk of COVID-19 Diagnosis and Hospitalization in Older Adults
27% lower hospitalization (p=0.002) and 9% fewer cases (p=0.004). Prospective study of 61,557 adults aged 45+ years showing reduced risk of COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization for those meeting physical activity guidelines of ≥7.5 MET-hours/week before the pandemic compared to inactive individuals.
Jan 31
Wang et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2024.01.30.24302040 Healthy lifestyle for the prevention of post-COVID-19 multisystem sequelae, hospitalization, and death: a prospective cohort study
30% lower mortality (p<0.0001), 12% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001), and 14% lower PASC (p<0.0001). Prospective study of 68,896 UK Biobank participants with COVID-19 showing adherence to a healthy lifestyle prior to infection, characterized by 10 factors including adequate physical activity and sleep, not smoking, and a healthy BMI, was..
Nov 9
2023
Pavlidou et al., Diseases, doi:10.3390/diseases11040165 Association of COVID-19 Infection with Sociodemographic, Anthropometric and Lifestyle Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study in an Older Adults’ Population Aged over 65 Years Old
42% fewer cases (p=0.001). Retrospective 5,197 Greek adults over 65. After adjustment for confounders, COVID-19 infection was independently associated with poor sleep, low physical activity, low Mediterranean diet adherence, living in urban areas, smoking, obesity,..
Nov 7
2023
Akbar et al., Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu16071037 The Association between Lifestyle Factors and COVID-19: Findings from Qatar Biobank
7% fewer cases (p=0.4). Retrospective 10,000 adults in Qatar, showing lower risk of COVID-19 cases with increased leisure time physical activity, without statistical significance. Authors do not analyze COVID-19 severity.
Nov 6
2023
Vanhelst et al., Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-023-46162-4 Association of SARS-CoV-2 infection with physical activity domains and types
Retrospective 22,165 adults in the French NutriNet-Santé cohort showing higher levels of total physical activity, vigorous activity, leisure-time activity, household activity, outdoor activity, and indoor activity during the COVID-19 lock..
Nov 5
2023
Daramola et al., DIGITAL HEALTH, doi:10.1177/20552076231207593 Detecting the most critical clinical variables of COVID-19 breakthrough infection in vaccinated persons using machine learning
Retrospective 257 individuals, finding higher physical activity as one of the most predictive variables for lower risk of COVID-19 breakthrough infection.
Oct 2
2023
Hegazy et al., BMC Nutrition, doi:10.1186/s40795-023-00727-8 Beneficial role of healthy eating Index-2015 score & physical activity on COVID-19 outcomes
54% fewer moderate/severe cases (p=0.01). Retrospective 68 COVID-19 patients showing physical activity and healthier nutrition associated with lower COVID-19 severity.
Aug 14
2023
Araujo et al., Jornal de Pediatria, doi:10.1016/j.jped.2023.07.006 Lifestyle and quality of life in children and adolescents during the covid-19 social distancing period
Cross-sectional analysis of 2,574 families in Brazil, showing that pandemic social distancing caused negative changes in exercise, diet, and sleep for children.
Aug 1
2023
Halabchi et al., Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, doi:10.15167/2421-4248/jpmh2023.64.2.2625 Association between physical activity and risk of COVID-19 infection or clinical outcomes of the patients with COVID-19; A systematic review and meta-analysis
39% lower mortality (p<0.0001) and 46% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Systematic review and meta analysis showing significantly lower COVID-19 mortality and hospitalization with regular physical activity.
Jul 15
2023
Graydon et al., Current Research in Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.crimmu.2023.100064 High baseline frequencies of natural killer cells are associated with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection
Analysis of 88 COVID+ patients in the USA showing that a higher frequency of natural killer (NK) cells was associated with asymptomatic infection. Improved NK cell numbers and functioning has been shown for exercise [Oh], better sleep [Ir..
Jul 15
2023
Šebić et al., Sports Science and Health, doi:10.7251/SSH2301078S Influence of the Level of Physical Activity on Symptoms and Duration of Recovery From Covid-19
89% lower need for oxygen therapy (p=0.05), 91% lower hospitalization (p=0.02), 84% lower progression (p<0.0001), and 47% improved recovery (p=0.0002). Retrospective 100 COVID-19 patients in Bosnia and Herzegovina, showing lower symptom severity and faster recovery with a history of regular physical activity.
Jun 21
2023
Schmidt et al., Sports Medicine - Open, doi:10.1186/s40798-023-00592-6 Self-Reported Pre-Pandemic Physical Activity and Likelihood of COVID-19 Infection: Data from the First Wave of the CoCo-Fakt Survey
31% fewer cases (p=0.02). Retrospective 5,338 individuals with confirmed contact with a COVID-19 patient, showing lower risk of COVID-19 with exercise.
Jun 15
2023
Frish et al., Journal of Clinical Medicine, doi:10.3390/jcm12124054 The Association of Weight Reduction and Other Variables after Bariatric Surgery with the Likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
53% fewer cases (p=0.04). Retrospective 3,038 bariatric surgery patients in Israel, showing higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection with vitamin D deficiency, and lower risk with physical activity.
Jun 14
2023
Sutkowska et al., Journal of Clinical Medicine, doi:10.3390/jcm12124046 Physical Activity Modifies the Severity of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Patients—Observational Study
62% lower mortality (p=0.21) and 61% improved recovery (p=0.19). Prospective study of 131 hospitalized patients in Poland, showing lower mortality and improved recovery with a history of higher physical activity.
Jun 14
2023
Rigolon et al., PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0286119 The neighborhood built environment and COVID-19 hospitalizations
Analysis of neighborhood built environment characteristics in the USA with 18,042 COVID+ individuals, showing lower risk of hospitalization with higher walkability and higher bikeability scores.
Jun 13
2023
Feter et al., Public Health, doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2023.05.011 Physical activity and long COVID: findings from the Prospective Study About Mental and Physical Health in Adults cohort
26% lower PASC (p=0.02). Analysis of 237 COVID-19 patients in Brazil, showing lower risk of long COVID with physical activity.
Jun 7
2023
Stavrinos et al., Journal of Pediatric Nursing, doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2023.06.003 COVID-19 effects on diet, sleep, and physical activity among mid- to late-adolescents residing in the deep south in the United States
Prospective study tracking sleep, diet, and physical activity for adolescents in the USA before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing negative health effects of the pandemic / restrictions.
May 23
2023
Nindenshuti et al., INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, doi:10.1177/00469580231175780 Changes in Diet, Physical Activity, Alcohol Consumption, and Tobacco Use in Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Systematic review showing 25 of 25 studies reported a decrease in physical activity and 13 of 13 studies reported an increase in sedentary behavior during the pandemic.
May 10
2023
Longobardi et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2022-106681 Effects of a 16-week home-based exercise training programme on health-related quality of life, functional capacity, and persistent symptoms in survivors of severe/critical COVID-19: a randomised controlled trial
RCT 50 post-severe/critical COVID-19 patients in Brazil, showing improved health-related quality of life with an exercise program (3 times a week, ~60–80 minutes/session, for 16 weeks).
May 9
2023
Cardoso et al., Medicina Clínica, doi:10.1016/j.medcli.2023.04.031 Patterns of physical activity and SARS-CoV-2 severe pneumonia: A case–control study
73% lower severe cases (p<0.0001). Case control study with 307 severe COVID-19 ICU patients and 307 matched COVID-19 outpatients in Brazil, showing significantly higher risk of severe cases with low physical activity.
May 8
2023
Wierenga et al., Heart & Lung, doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2023.05.002 Impact of risk for severe COVID-19 illness on physical activity during the pandemic
Analysis of 640 adults in the USA, showing that adults at high risk of severe COVID-19 were disproportionately more likely to be physically inactive and had lower activity levels during the early months of the pandemic.
May 5
2023
Massar et al., Frontiers in Psychology, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1145893 Working-from-home persistently influences sleep and physical activity 2 years after the Covid-19 pandemic onset: a longitudinal sleep tracker and electronic diary-based study
Analysis of 225 adults in Singapore showing working from home associated with lower physical activity (as measured by step count) during August 2021 - January 2022.
Apr 25
2023
Sanchez et al., Fisioterapia, doi:10.1016/j.ft.2023.04.003 Influence of Physical Exercise on the Severity of COVID-19
54% fewer symptomatic cases (p<0.0001). Retrospective 29,875 university staff and students in Spain, 3,662 with data, showing lower risk of COVID-19 symptoms for people that exercise. Exercise more than 5 days/week was the most protective, and intense exercise was more effectiv..
Apr 12
2023
Jääskeläinen et al., Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, doi:10.1177/14034948231163960 Poor health status before the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with unfavourable changes in health-related lifestyle
Analysis of 3,834 adults in Finland, showing that people with poor health status were more likely to have unfavorable lifestyle changes during the pandemic, including decreased vegetable consumption, decreased leisure-time physical activi..
Mar 27
2023
Galluzzo et al., Journal of Clinical Medicine, doi:10.3390/jcm12072517 Inadequate Physical Activity Is Associated with Worse Physical Function in a Sample of COVID-19 Survivors with Post-Acute Symptoms
Retrospective 1,846 post-acute COVID-19 patients in Italy, showing inadequate physical activity after recovering from COVID-19 associated with lower physical function.
Mar 23
2023
ÓhAiseadha et al., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph20075223 Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for Population Health and Health Inequalities
Review of studies on non-pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19 showing negative impacts on mental health, physical activity, and obesity.
Mar 8
2023
Zhang et al., Frontiers in Physiology, doi:10.3389/fphys.2023.1089637 The causal effect of physical activity intensity on COVID-19 susceptibility, hospitalization, and severity: Evidence from a mendelian randomization study
Mendelian randomization study showing lower risk of COVID-19 severity, hospitalization, and cases with light physical activity, but no significant difference for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Authors note that they were unable t..
Feb 14
2023
Park et al., Frontiers in Public Health, doi:10.3389/fpubh.2023.1072198 Pre-pandemic physical activity as a predictor of infection and mortality associated with COVID-19: Evidence from the National Health Insurance Service
26% lower mortality (p=0.08) and 7% fewer cases (p=0.02). Retrospective 4,363 COVID-19 patients and 67,125 controls in South Korea, showing higher risk of mortality and cases with insufficient physical activity.
Feb 11
2023
Liu et al., Preventive Medicine Reports, doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102130 Baseline physical activity and the risk of severe illness and mortality from COVID-19: A dose–response meta-analysis
Meta analysis of 14 studies showing a negative dose-response relationship between the level of physical activity and COVID-19 severity and mortality.
Feb 6
2023
Wang et al., JAMA Internal Medicine, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.6555 Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Prior to Infection and Risk of Post–COVID-19 Condition
11% lower PASC (p=0.2). Prospective analysis of 32,249 women, showing lower risk of PASC with a healthy lifestyle, in a dose-dependent manner. Participants with 5 or 6 healthy lifestyle factors had significantly lower COVID-19 hospitalization and PASC. BMI and s..
Feb 2
2023
Fernandez et al., Journal of Applied Physiology, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00544.2022 Intrahospital supervised exercise training improves survival rate among hypertensive COVID-19 patients
47% lower mortality (p=0.02). Retrospective 439 severe COVID-19 hospitalized patients with hypertension, 201 receiving a supervised exercise program, showing significantly lower mortality with exercise. Exercise included of aerobic, breathing, and musculoskeletal exer..
Dec 28
2022
Kucharska et al., Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, doi:10.26444/aaem/156939 Diet and selected elements of lifestyle in the Polish population before and during the COVID-19 pandemic – a population study
Retrospective 964 people in Poland showing decreased physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dec 14
2022
Young et al., American Journal of Preventive Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2022.10.007 Associations of Physical Inactivity and COVID-19 Outcomes Among Subgroups
74% lower mortality (p<0.0001) and 48% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Retrospective 194,191 COVID-19 patients in the USA, showing lower risk of hospitalization and mortality with physical activity, with a dose response relationship.
Dec 12
2022
Kapusta et al., Journal of Infection and Public Health, doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2022.12.008 Do selected lifestyle parameters affect the severity and symptoms of COVID-19 among elderly patients? The retrospective evaluation of individuals from the STOP-COVID registry of the PoLoCOV study
71% lower severe cases (p=0.001). Retrospective 568 convalescent COVID-19 patients in Poland, showing lower risk of severe cases with regular physical activity in the 3 months before COVID-19.
Nov 24
2022
Khandker et al., Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, doi:10.3389/fresc.2022.1037649 Post-COVID-19 complications in home and hospital-based care: A study from Dhaka city, Bangladesh
Retrospective 925 COVID-19 patients in Bangladesh reporting that "physical activity and exposure to sunlight was positively associated with earlier recovery from COVID-19 both in home and hospital care". Details are not provided.
Nov 8
2022
Sittichai et al., Frontiers in Physiology, doi:10.3389/fphys.2022.1030568 Effects of physical activity on the severity of illness and mortality in COVID-19 patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Systematic review and meta analysis of 18 studies, showing significantly lower COVID-19 severity and mortality with physical activity.
Nov 7
2022
Green et al., European Journal of General Practice, doi:10.1080/13814788.2022.2138855 A higher frequency of physical activity is associated with reduced rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection
42% fewer cases (p<0.0001). Retrospective 113,075 people in Israel, showing lower risk of COVID-19 cases with physical activity and a dose dependent response.
Oct 31
2022
Tison et al., The Lancet Global Health, doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00361-8 Worldwide physical activity trends since COVID-19 onset
Analysis of 1.2 million global users showing a significant decline in physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which remained below the pre-pandemic baseline as of February 2022.
Oct 29
2022
Pitanga et al., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph192114155 Leisure Time Physical Activity and SARS-CoV-2 Infection among ELSA-Brasil Participants
33% fewer cases (p=0.05). Retrospective 4,476 participants in Brazil, showing lower risk of COVID-19 cases with a history of physical activity, statistically significant only for those following specific practices to protect against COVID-19.
Oct 24
2022
Pływaczewska-Jakubowska et al., Frontiers in Medicine, doi:10.3389/fmed.2022.1036556 Lifestyle, course of COVID-19, and risk of Long-COVID in non-hospitalized patients
11% fewer moderate/severe cases (p=0.3) and 14% lower PASC (p=0.24). Retrospective 1,847 COVID+ patients in Poland, showing no significant difference in moderate/severe cases with physical activity. Hospitalized patients were excluded.
Oct 24
2022
Reis et al., American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, doi:10.1177/15598276221135541 The Association between Lifestyle Risk Factors and COVID-19 Hospitalization in a Healthcare Institution
41% lower hospitalization (p=0.18). Retrospective 546 COVID+ patients in the USA, showing lower risk of hospitalization with higher frequency of strength training, without statistical significance.
Aug 22
2022
Ezzatvar et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2022-105733 Physical activity and risk of infection, severity and mortality of COVID-19: a systematic review and non-linear dose–response meta-analysis of data from 1 853 610 adults
43% lower mortality (p<0.0001), 34% lower severe cases (p<0.0001), 36% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001), and 11% fewer cases (p=0.0002). Systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 studies, showing lower risk of cases, hospitalization, severe cases, and mortality with regular physical activity. A non-linear dose-response relationship was seen with benefits reducing above 500..
Jul 5
2022
Tsuzuki et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.07.01.22277144 Impact of dementia, living in a long-term care facility, and physical activity status on COVID-19 severity in older adults
56% lower severe cases (p<0.0001). Retrospective 4,868 elderly COVID-19 patients in Japan, showing higher risk of severe cases with poor physical activity status.
Jun 23
2022
Li et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.06.22.22276789 Association of physical activity and the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization: a dose-response meta-analysis
40% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Meta analysis of 17 studies, showing a dose-response relationship with higher levels of physical activity reducing risk of COVID-19 hospitalization.
Jun 11
2022
Antunes et al., Sport Sciences for Health, doi:10.1007/s11332-022-00948-7 The influence of physical activity level on the length of stay in hospital in older men survivors of COVID-19
80% lower ICU admission (p=0.06), 40% improvement (p=0.48), and 43% shorter hospitalization (p=0.03). Retrospective 39 hospitalized COVID-19 survivors >60 years old, showing shorter hospitalization for patients with active lifestyles before COVID-19 symptoms.
May 13
2022
Chen et al., Journal of Translational Medicine, doi:10.1186/s12967-022-03407-6 Causal relationship between physical activity, leisure sedentary behaviors and COVID-19 risk: a Mendelian randomization study
UK Biobank Mendelian randomization study showing decreased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with genetically predicted accelerometer-assessed physical activity, and increased risk with television watching.
Apr 29
2022
Malisoux et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-057863 Associations between physical activity prior to infection and COVID-19 disease severity and symptoms: results from the prospective Predi-COVID cohort study
63% lower progression (p=0.05). Retrospective 452 participants in Luxembourg, showing lower risk of moderate cases with higher physical activity.
Apr 17
2022
Kontopoulou et al., Journal of Personalized Medicine, doi:10.3390/jpm12040645 Exercise Preferences and Benefits in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19
66% faster recovery (p<0.0001). Retrospective 66 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Greece, showing significantly improved recovery with a history of exercise in unadjusted results. Exercise after hospitalization was also associated with lower levels of dyspnea one month..
Apr 13
2022
Paul et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.04.12.22273792 Health behaviours the month prior to COVID-19 infection and the development of self-reported long COVID and specific long COVID symptoms: A longitudinal analysis of 1,811 UK adults
38% lower PASC (p=0.16). Retrospective 1,811 COVID-19 patients in the UK, showing lower risk of self-reported long COVID with 3+ hours of exercise per week in the month before infection, without statistical significance (p=0.16).
Apr 13
2022
Rahmati et al., Reviews in Medical Virology, doi:10.1002/rmv.2349 Baseline physical activity is associated with reduced mortality and disease outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis
53% lower mortality (p=0.001), 35% lower ICU admission (p=0.001), and 42% lower hospitalization (p=0.001). Meta analysis of 12 physical activity and COVID-19 studies, showing lower mortality, ICU admission, and hospitalization with physical activity.
Mar 15
2022
Carta et al., Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health, doi:10.2174/17450179-v18-e2112231 Exercise in Older Adults to Prevent Depressive Symptoms at the Time of Covid-19: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial with Follow-Up
82% improvement (p=0.009). Exercise RCT with followup during COVID-19 lockdowns, showing lower risk of depression during lockdowns for the exercise group.
Mar 14
2022
Salgado-Aranda et al., Infectious Diseases and Therapy, doi:10.1007/s40121-021-00418-6 Influence of Baseline Physical Activity as a Modifying Factor on COVID-19 Mortality: A Single-Center, Retrospective Study
83% lower mortality (p=0.003). Retrospective 520 COVID-19 patients in Spain, showing significantly lower mortality with a history of physical activity.
Mar 12
2022
Beydoun et al., American Journal of Infection Control, doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2022.02.021 Socio-demographic, lifestyle and health characteristics as predictors of self-reported Covid-19 history among older adults: 2006-2020 Health and Retirement Study
43% fewer cases (p=0.05). Retrospective 2,830 people in the USA, showing lower risk of COVID-19 with a history of moderate/vigorous exercise.
Feb 17
2022
Almansour et al., Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, doi:10.2147/JMDH.S352753 The Influence of Physical Activity on COVID-19 Prevention Among Quarantined Individuals: A Case–Control Study
6% fewer cases (p=0.85). Retrospective 142 patients in Saudi Arabia, showing no significant difference in cases with physical activity.
Feb 10
2022
Gilley et al., JMIR Mental Health, doi:10.2196/34645 Risk Factors for COVID-19 in College Students Identified by Physical, Mental, and Social Health Reported During the Fall 2020 Semester: Observational Study Using the Roadmap App and Fitbit Wearable Sensors
42% more cases (p=0.55). Retrospective survey of 1,997 college students in the USA, showing no significant difference in COVID-19 cases with exercise in unadjusted results.
Feb 9
2022
Steenkamp et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-105159 Small steps, strong shield: directly measured, moderate physical activity in 65 361 adults is associated with significant protective effects from severe COVID-19 outcomes
42% lower mortality (p<0.0001), 45% lower ventilation (p<0.0001), 41% lower ICU admission (p<0.0001), and 34% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Retrospective 65,361 COVID-19 patients in South Africa, showing significantly lower hospitalization, ICU admission, ventilation, and mortality with exercise.
Dec 31
2021
Rowlands et al., Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, doi:10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2021.08.011 Association Between Accelerometer-Assessed Physical Activity and Severity of COVID-19 in UK Biobank
UK Biobank retrospective showing lower risk of severe COVID-19 with higher moderate to vigorous physical activity. Results are only provided for physical activity as a continuous variable.
Dec 23
2021
Hamdan et al., Journal of International Medical Research, doi:10.1177/03000605211064405 Risk factors associated with hospitalization owing to COVID-19: a cross-sectional study in Palestine
16% lower hospitalization (p=0.53). Retrospective 300 participants in Palestine, showing lower risk of hospitalization with physical activity, without statistical significance.
Nov 30
2021
Huang et al., Nature and Science of Sleep, doi:10.2147/NSS.S263488 Reduced Sleep in the Week Prior to Diagnosis of COVID-19 is Associated with the Severity of COVID-19
47% lower severe cases (p=0.18) and 66% fewer cases (p=0.004). Retrospective 164 COVID-19 patients and 188 controls in China, showing lower risk of cases with regular exercise.
Nov 3
2021
Hamrouni et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-055003 Associations of obesity, physical activity level, inflammation and cardiometabolic health with COVID-19 mortality: a prospective analysis of the UK Biobank cohort
29% lower mortality (p=0.009). Prospective UK Biobank analysis, showing a history of low physical activity associated with COVID-19 mortality.
Oct 30
2021
Saadeh et al., Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, doi:10.1007/s40520-021-02006-7 Associations of pre-pandemic levels of physical function and physical activity with COVID-19-like symptoms during the outbreak
9% fewer symptomatic cases (p=0.71). Retrospective 904 patients in Sweden, showing higher risk of COVID-19-like symptoms with poor muscle strength. Risk was slightly higher for physical inactivity, without statistical significance.
Oct 23
2021
Lengelé et al., Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, doi:10.1007/s40520-021-01991-z Frailty but not sarcopenia nor malnutrition increases the risk of developing COVID-19 in older community-dwelling adults
74% fewer cases (p=0.03). Analysis of 241 adults >65yo in Belgium, showing lower risk of COVID-19 with a history of physical activity.
Oct 19
2021
Ekblom-Bak et al., International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, doi:10.1186/s12966-021-01198-5 Cardiorespiratory fitness and lifestyle on severe COVID-19 risk in 279,455 adults: a case control study
48% lower severe cases (p=0.02). Retrospective 857 severe COVID-19 cases and matched controls in Sweden, showing lower risk of severe COVID-19 with higher cardiorespiratory fitness.
Sep 30
2021
Cunningham, G., Journal of Sport and Health Science, doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2021.03.008 Physical activity and its relationship with COVID-19 cases and deaths: Analysis of U.S. counties
Analysis of US counties showing physical activity levels negatively associated with COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Sep 30
2021
Mohsin et al., Infection and Drug Resistance, doi:10.2147/IDR.S331470 Lifestyle and Comorbidity-Related Risk Factors of Severe and Critical COVID-19 Infection: A Comparative Study Among Survived COVID-19 Patients in Bangladesh
19% lower severe cases (p=0.04). Retrospective 1,500 COVID+ patients in Bangladesh, showing lower risk of severe cases with regular exercise in unadjusted results.
Sep 30
2021
de Souza et al., Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2021.05.011 Association of physical activity levels and the prevalence of COVID-19-associated hospitalization
73% lower ventilation (p=0.07) and 34% lower hospitalization (p=0.05). Retrospective survey of 938 COVID-19 recovered patients in Brazil, showing lower hospitalization with physical activity. NCT04396353.
Sep 22
2021
Ehsani et al., Middle East Journal of Rehabilitation and Health Studies, doi:10.5812/mejrh.114607 Evaluation of the Relationship Between Daily Physical Activity Level and Laboratory Factors and the Length of Hospitalization in Patients with COVID-19
61% faster recovery (p=0.0001). Retrospective 71 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Iran, showing faster recovery with a history of moderate to high physical exercise. Exercise was assessed during the last seven days when patients may already have had COVID-19 symptoms. ..
Sep 21
2021
Lin et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052025 Predictors of incident SARS-CoV-2 infections in an international prospective cohort study
47% fewer cases (p=0.4). Prospective survey analysis of 28,575 people in 99 countries, showing a lower risk of COVID-19 with a exercise, without statistical significance.
Sep 18
2021
Nguyen et al., Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu13093258 Single and Combinative Impacts of Healthy Eating Behavior and Physical Activity on COVID-19-like Symptoms among Outpatients: A Multi-Hospital and Health Center Survey
20% fewer symptomatic cases (p<0.0001). Analysis of 3,947 participants in Vietnam, showing significantly lower risk of COVID-19-like symptoms with physical activity and with a healthy diet. The combination of being physically active and eating healthy reduced risk further compa..
Aug 31
2021
Ahmadi et al., Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2021.04.022 Lifestyle risk factors and infectious disease mortality, including COVID-19, among middle aged and older adults: Evidence from a community-based cohort study in the United Kingdom
30% lower mortality (p=0.005). Retrospective 468,569 adults in the UK, showing no significant difference in COVID-19 mortality based on diet quality, however significantly lower mortality was seen with higher diet quality for pneumonia and infectious diseases.
Aug 23
2021
Baynouna AlKetbi et al., Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, doi:10.1007/s44197-021-00006-4 Risk Factors for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Severity in Abu Dhabi
98% lower mortality (p=0.05). Retrospective 234 COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates, showing lower risk of mortality with increased physical activity.
Aug 12
2021
Pinto et al., Journal of Sport and Health Science, doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2021.08.001 No independent associations between physical activity and clinical outcomes among hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19
30% lower mortality (p=0.27), 20% lower ventilation (p=0.21), and 10% lower ICU admission (p=0.46). Prospective analysis of 209 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, showing no significant difference in COVID-19 outcomes with physical activity. Mortality, ventilation, and ICU results are only provided for activity as a continuous variable.
Aug 11
2021
Maltagliati et al., Journal of Sports Sciences, doi:10.1080/02640414.2021.1964721 Muscle strength explains the protective effect of physical activity against COVID-19 hospitalization among adults aged 50 years and older
52% lower hospitalization (p=0.02). Retrospective 3,139 adults >50 in Europe, with 66 COVID-19 hospitalizations, showing lower risk of hospitalization with higher physical activity and with higher muscle strength. Note that model 2 includes muscle strength which is correlat..
Aug 6
2021
Cheval et al., Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, doi:10.1002/jcsm.12738 Muscle strength is associated with COVID‐19 hospitalization in adults 50 years of age or older
36% lower hospitalization (p=0.02). Retrospective 3,600 adults showing that higher grip strength was associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization.
Jul 22
2021
Lee et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-104203 Physical activity and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe COVID-19 illness and COVID-19 related mortality in South Korea: a nationwide cohort study
74% lower mortality (p=0.05), 58% lower severe cases (p=0.03), and 16% fewer cases (p=0.03). Retrospective 212,768 adults in South Korea, showing lower risk of COVID-19 cases, severity, and mortality with physical activity. Notably, results for aerobic and muscle strengthening activities combined were much better than results for..
Jul 9
2021
Rabail et al., Food Science & Nutrition, doi:10.1002/fsn3.2458 Nutritional and lifestyle changes required for minimizing the recovery period in home quarantined COVID-19 patients of Punjab, Pakistan
Survey of 80 recovered COVID-19 patients in Pakistan, showing faster recovery with higher physical activity before infection.
Jul 5
2021
af Geijerstam et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051316 Fitness, strength and severity of COVID-19: a prospective register study of 1 559 187 Swedish conscripts
50% lower mortality (p=0.005), 40% lower ICU admission (p=0.0003), and 27% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Prospective study of 1,559,187 men in Sweden with cardiorespiratory fitness levels measured on military conscription, showing high cardiorespiratory fitness associated with lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.
Jul 5
2021
Buckley et al., European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, doi:10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa135 Exercise rehabilitation associates with lower mortality and hospitalisation in cardiovascular disease patients with COVID-19
76% lower mortality (p<0.0001) and 51% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). PSM retrospective 643 COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease undergoing exercise rehabilitation within 3 months of diagnosis, showing significantly lower re-hospitalization and mortality with exercise rehabilitation.
Jul 4
2021
Bielik et al., International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph18137158 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?
30% fewer moderate/severe cases (p=0.1) and 9% more cases (p=0.36). Retrospective 1,544 participants in Slovakia, showing a lower risk of more severe COVID-19 for physically active participants, without statistical significance.
Jul 1
2021
Brandenburg et al., Journal of Physical Activity and Health, doi:10.1123/jpah.2020-0817 Does Higher Self-Reported Cardiorespiratory Fitness Reduce the Odds of Hospitalization From COVID-19?
6% higher hospitalization (p=0.6) and 35% lower severe cases (p=0.3). Retrospective 263 COVID+ patients, showing lower hospitalization with higher self-reported cardiorespiratory fitness, but no significant differences for physical activity. Participants in the study were healthier and more fit than the gen..
Jun 23
2021
Oh et al., Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.594356 Vitamin D and Exercise Are Major Determinants of Natural Killer Cell Activity, Which Is Age- and Gender-Specific
Analysis of 2,095 patients in South Korea, showing exercise and vitamin D associated with improved natural killer cell activity. showed that a lower frequency of natural killer cells was associated with symptomatic COVID-19 infection.
Jun 20
2021
Yuan et al., Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease, doi:10.1177/17534666211025221 Does pre-existent physical inactivity have a role in the severity of COVID-19?
91% lower mortality (p=0.09) and 70% lower severe cases (p=0.03). Retrospective 164 COVID-19 patients in China, showing physical inactivity associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19.
Jun 17
2021
Marcus et al., PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0253120 Predictors of incident viral symptoms ascertained in the era of COVID-19
42% fewer symptomatic cases (p<0.0001). Prospective survey based study with 14,335 participants, showing lower risk of viral symptoms with regular exercise.
Jun 15
2021
Latorre-Román et al., Research in Sports Medicine, doi:10.1080/15438627.2021.1937166 Protective role of physical activity patterns prior to COVID-19 confinement with the severity/duration of respiratory pathologies consistent with COVID-19 symptoms in Spanish populations
76% lower hospitalization (p=0.05). Retrospective 420 people in Spain, showing lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with a history of physical activity.
May 19
2021
Lobelo et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044052 Clinical, behavioural and social factors associated with racial disparities in COVID-19 patients from an integrated healthcare system in Georgia: a retrospective cohort study
20% lower hospitalization (p=0.02). Retrospective 5,712 COVID-19 patients in the USA, showing higher risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with a history of physical inactivity.
May 5
2021
Christensen et al., PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0250508 The association of estimated cardiorespiratory fitness with COVID-19 incidence and mortality: A cohort study
63% lower mortality (p=0.02) and 23% fewer cases (p=0.2). Prospective study of 2,690 adults in the UK Biobank showing lower cardiorespiritory fitness associated with COVID-19 mortality.
Apr 13
2021
Sallis et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-104080 Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients
59% lower mortality (p=0.005), 42% lower ICU admission (p=0.006), and 53% lower hospitalization (p<0.0001). Retrospective 48,440 COVID-19 patients in the USA, showing significantly lower mortality, ICU admission, and hospitalization with exercise.
Apr 6
2021
Cho et al., Journal of Clinical Medicine, doi:10.3390/jcm10071539 Physical Activity and the Risk of COVID-19 Infection and Mortality: A Nationwide Population-Based Case-Control Study
53% lower mortality (p=0.01) and 10% fewer cases (p<0.0001). Retrospective 6,288 COVID+ patients and 125,772 matched controls in South Korea, showing significantly lower risk of COVID-19 infection and mortality with higher physical activity.
Mar 30
2021
Holt et al., Thorax, doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-217487 Risk factors for developing COVID-19: a population-based longitudinal study (COVIDENCE UK)
17% fewer cases (p=0.18). Prospective survey-based study with 15,227 people in the UK, showing reduced risk of COVID-19 cases with lower impact physical activity. NCT04330599. COVIDENCE UK.
Feb 26
2021
Yates et al., International Journal of Obesity, doi:10.1038/s41366-021-00771-z Obesity, walking pace and risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality: analysis of UK Biobank
45% lower mortality (p=0.001) and 47% lower severe cases (p<0.0001). UK Biobank retrospective 412,596 people, showing severe COVID-19 and COVID-19 mortality inversely associated with self-reported walking pace.
Feb 4
2021
Tavakol et al., Journal of Public Health, doi:10.1007/s10389-020-01468-9 Relationship between physical activity, healthy lifestyle and COVID-19 disease severity; a cross-sectional study
69% lower severe cases (p=0.05). Retrospective 206 patients in Iran, showing COVID-19 disease severity associated with lower physical activity.
Feb 3
2021
Li et al., BMC Medical Genomics, doi:10.1186/s12920-021-00887-1 Modifiable lifestyle factors and severe COVID-19 risk: a Mendelian randomisation study
81% lower severe cases (p=0.02) and 56% lower hospitalization (p=0.07). Mendelian randomization study showing lower risk of severe COVID-19 with physical activity.
Jan 22
2021
Kunutsor et al., European Journal of Clinical Investigation, doi:10.1111/eci.13490 High fitness levels, frequent sauna bathing and risk of pneumonia in a cohort study: Are there potential implications for COVID‐19?
25% fewer cases (p=0.005). Prospective study of 2,275 middle-aged Finnish men showing significantly lower risk of future pneumonia with a combination of high cardiorespiratory fitness and frequent sauna bathing compared to each exposure alone. High cardiorespirator..
Dec 6
2020
Zhang et al., J. Glob. Health, doi:10.7189/jogh-10-020514 Physical activity and COVID-19: an observational and Mendelian randomisation study
26% lower mortality (p=0.17) and 18% fewer cases (p=0.01). UK Biobank retrospective showing significantly lower COVID-19 cases with objectively measured physical activity.
Dec 1
2020
Halabchi et al., Journal of Physical Activity and Health, doi:10.1123/jpah.2020-0392 Regular Sports Participation as a Potential Predictor of Better Clinical Outcome in Adult Patients With COVID-19: A Large Cross-Sectional Study
89% lower mortality (p=0.08) and 28% lower hospitalization (p=0.04). Retrospective 4,694 COVID-19 patients in Iran, showing lower risk of hospitalization and mortality with regular sports participation.
Nov 30
2020
Larenas-Linnemann et al., World Allergy Organization Journal, doi:10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100476 Enhancing innate immunity against virus in times of COVID-19: Trying to untangle facts from fictions
Review of various interventions that may enhance innate immunity against respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2. The interventions are divided into lifestyle factors (exercise, forest walking, sleep, vitamins/supplements), non-specific immun..
Nov 19
2020
Ho et al., BMJ Open, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040402 Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for COVID-19, and comparison to risk factors for influenza and pneumonia: results from a UK Biobank prospective cohort study
35% lower hospitalization (p=0.007). UK Biobank retrospective 235,928 participants using walking pace as a proxy for physical fitness, showing lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with an average vs. slow walking pace.
Nov 5
2020
Gao et al., PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0241540 The impact of individual lifestyle and status on the acquisition of COVID-19: A case—Control study
105% more cases (p=0.0003). Case control study in China with 105 cases and 210 matched controls, showing COVID-19 cases associated with physical activity ≥5 times per week. Authors note that people may choose gyms for exercise in winter, leading to higher exposure r..
Oct 31
2020
Mohamed et al., Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.07.012 The effect of aerobic exercise on immune biomarkers and symptoms severity and progression in patients with COVID-19: A randomized control trial
Small RCT with 30 mild/moderate COVID-19 patients, 15 performing 2 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, showing decreased severity (WURSS) and improved immune markers with exercise.
Oct 26
2020
Tret'yakov et al., Pulmonologiya, doi:10.18093/0869-0189-2020-30-5-553-560 COVID-19 in individuals adapted to aerobic exercise
98% lower severe cases (p=0.007). Retrospective 293 COVID+ patients in Russia, showing lower risk of severe COVID-19 for individuals who regularly practice aerobic training in unadjusted results.
Oct 21
2020
Cloosterman et al., Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2020.10.009 Running behavior and symptoms of respiratory tract infection during the COVID-19 pandemic
Analysis of 2,586 participants of a running injury prevention RCT in the Netherlands, showing lower risk of COVID-19 symptoms with interval training and increased training hours, without statistical significance.
Oct 10
2020
Brawner et al., Mayo Clinic Proceedings, doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.10.003 Inverse Relationship of Maximal Exercise Capacity to Hospitalization Secondary to Coronavirus Disease 2019
74% lower hospitalization (p=0.001). Retrospective 246 COVID-19 patients in the USA, showing the risk of hospitalization inversely associated with maximal exercise capacity. Adjusted results are only provided for MET as a continuous variable.
Jul 31
2020
Hamer et al., Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.059 Lifestyle risk factors, inflammatory mechanisms, and COVID-19 hospitalization: A community-based cohort study of 387,109 adults in UK
28% lower hospitalization (p=0.0004). UK Biobank retrospective analysis of 387,109 people, showing lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalization with physical activity.
Oct 31
2018
Guthold et al., The Lancet Global Health, doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7 Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants
Meta analysis of 358 surveys showing the prevalence of insufficient physical activity around the world. Prevalence in high-income countries was over twice as high, and has increased over time.
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