Physical inactivity linked to severe Covid-19 outcomes

By GreaterSport | 14 June 2021 | TAGS: research, Covid-19


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New research with nearly 50,000 people shows that engaging in physical activity might be the single most important action individuals can take to prevent severe Covid-19 and its complications, including death.

  • Patients with Covid-19 who were consistently inactive during the two years before the pandemic were more likely to be hospitalised, admitted to the intensive care unit and die than patients who were consistently meeting physical activity guidelines.
  • Other than older age and a history of organ transplant, physical inactivity was the strongest risk factor for severe Covid-19 outcomes.
  • In fact, physical inactivity was the strongest risk factor across all outcomes (hospitalisation, admission to ICU and death), for people infected with Covid-19, compared with the commonly cited modifiable risk factors, including smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer.


  • The potential for regular physical activity to lower Covid-19 illness severity should be promoted by the medical community and public health agencies.
  • Pandemic control recommendations should include regular physical activity across all population groups.

The full research article can be accessed here.

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