George Winter provides an overview of recently published articles that may be of interest to practice nurses. Should you wish to look at any of the papers in more detail, a full reference is provided.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults perform ≥150min/week of moderate-intensity equivalent aerobic physical activity and ≥2 episodes/week of muscle-strengthening activities. Given that physical inactivity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness and potentially for influenza and pneumonia mortality, Webber et al (2023) undertook a longitudinal study to examine the association of leisure-time physical activity with mortality from influenza and pneumonia.
Almost 578,000 US adults who participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 1998 to 2018 were followed for mortality through 2019. As well as meeting WHO criteria, participants were also classified into five volume-based categories of self-reported aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
Participants meeting 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. Compared to aerobically inactive individuals, mortality was lower in participants who performed leisure-time aerobic physical activity, even at a level below the WHO recommended guidelines. Further, two episodes/week of muscle-strengthening activity was associated with lower risk of influenza and pneumonia mortality, whereas ≥7 episodes/week was associated with higher risk. The authors speculate that ‘efforts to reduce influenza and pneumonia mortality among adults might focus on decreasing the prevalence of aerobic inactivity and increasing the prevalence of achieving 2 episodes/week of muscle-strengthening activity’.
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