Regular Exercise Lowers Risk of Flu and Pneumonia Deaths, Finds Groundbreaking Study - SpecialtyRx
June 5, 2023
Regular Exercise Lowers Risk of Flu and Pneumonia Deaths, Finds Groundbreaking Study

New Study Reveals: Physical Activity Cuts Flu and Pneumonia Mortality Risk in Half

According to a recent study, regular exercise and muscle-strengthening activities can significantly reduce the risk of death from the flu or pneumonia.

The study, which analyzed data from the National Health Interview Study spanning two decades, involved 577,909 adults in the United States.

Over the average follow-up period of 9.23 years, the researchers recorded 1,516 deaths related to influenza and pneumonia.

The results revealed that individuals who met the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as jogging, walking, or brisk walking, along with at least two muscle-strengthening sessions, had a 48% lower risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia compared to those who were physically inactive.

The authors noted, “In this large US cohort, adults who met the aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines were about half as likely to die from influenza and pneumonia as their peers who met neither guideline.”

They also found that even individuals who engaged in leisure-time aerobic activity below the recommended threshold still experienced lower mortality rates than those who were completely inactive.

Interestingly, the study indicated that meeting only the aerobic guideline still conferred a 36% lower risk of death, while meeting only the muscle-strengthening guideline did not show a significant difference in mortality.

From a clinical perspective, the mortality benefits associated with inadequate aerobic activity could be a compelling reason healthcare providers encourage physical activity among inactive patients.

They also proposed that future updates to physical activity guidelines should consider the growing body of evidence supporting the association between physical activity and reduced mortality from infectious diseases.

“These results further underscore the importance of regular physical activity in promoting overall health and well-being, especially in the context of infectious diseases and long-term care facilities” – Saba Ansari, VP of Clinical Services.