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A study in JAMA Network Open found people who engaged in higher levels of physical activity before the pandemic experienced lower odds of developing COVID-19 and related hospitalizations from May 2020 through May 2022. In studying patients 45 years or older with 5,890 cases of COVID-19 and 626 hospitalizations, researchers found those who achieved at least 7.5 hours per week of physical activity pre pandemic had significantly reduced odds of COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization compared with an inactive group. In this study, physical activity was self-reported and calculated based on a questionnaire that asked about activities such as jogging, aerobics, and daily walking up flights of stairs.

Americans keep the pace: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, published by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both. About 47% of adults meet the aerobic activity metric, as per the National Center for Health Statistics.

Active People Had Lower Odds of COVID-19 Infection