University of São Paulo: Physical activity is not a protective factor for the worsening of covid-19

Because covid-19 is an infectious disease, the practice of physical activity is not necessarily beneficial or guarantees that the clinical condition does not worsen- Photo: Cecília Bastos / USP Images
The regular practice of physical activity is not a determining factor to prevent the worsening of covid-19, according to a study . In case of contamination, the benefits gained from physical exercise decrease as the disease worsens and risk factors become more prevalent. The research was carried out with about 200 patients in the age group of 55 years, mostly with comorbidities and different levels of physical activity, admitted to the Hospital das Clínicas of the Medical School of USP and to the Hospital de Campanha in Ibirapuera.

In an interview with Jornal da USP no Ar 1st Edition , Professor Bruno Gualano, from the Department of Clinical Medicine at USP Medical School and specialist in Exercise Physiology, explains that, as covid-19 worsens, the protection of physical exercise it is reduced and risk factors become preponderant, such as old age and chronic diseases already associated with severe infections. “The practice of physical activity provides a certain benefit for the light patient. However, as the disease progresses, this protection decreases and increases the contribution of other factors that are already known. ”

The practice of physical exercise is favorable and contributes to the good evolution of the clinical picture of several diseases and in shortening the time of hospitalization and hospitalization in the Intensive Care Unit. In the case of covid-19, because it is an infectious disease, the study found that the practice of physical activity is not necessarily beneficial or guarantees that the clinical condition does not worsen: “Physical exercise reduces the prevalence of chronic conditions associated with worsening of the condition. covid-19, however, is not an elixir. Regular physical exercise does not give absolute protection to patients with covid-19, the athlete’s history is not immune to the disease and its effects ”, informs the specialist.

For Gualano, physical activity is important to reduce risk factors that can not only aggravate covid-19, but also other diseases. However, it is important not to associate the practice with an alleged full immunity to covid-19. Professional athletes are usually affected by mild cases of infection, which is linked to the high level of physical activity, regulated diet and healthy lifestyle, different from the general population. “We cannot compare ourselves to these athletes. We are not professional athletes and we cannot take for granted what happens to them. There is no absolute protective factor against the worsening of covid-19. The lifestyle itself is not an absolute protective factor ”, he concludes.

Jornal da USP no Ar
Jornal da USP no Ar is a partnership between Rádio USP and Escola Politécnica, Faculdade de Medicina and Instituto de Estudios Advancedes. On air from Monday to Friday: 1st edition from 7:30 am to 9 am, with a presentation by Roxane Ré, and other editions at 10:45 am, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4:45 pm. You can tune to Rádio USP in São Paulo FM 93.7, in Ribeirão Preto FM 107.9, through the internet at or through the Jornal da USP application on your cell phone.

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