News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Exercise Very Effective Against Covid – Landmark Study

Regular physical activity cuts the risk of dying from infectious diseases such as covid by 37 percent and reduces the chance of catching the virus by 31 per cent, according to new global research.

The findings have already gone to the Scottish government and other governments around world as well as public health experts and healthcare professionals.

ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie, who has worked a lot with the World Health

Organisation and given exercise talks in many countries, today appealed to talk to the government about making New Zealanders healthier and safer in covid.

“The researchers in this groundbreaking study found regular exercise where people can boost their immunity is what all New Zealanders want to know,” Beddie says.

“They also confirmed that if people add physical activity to their vaccination programme it increases the potency of the vaccination.

“We suggest a 12-week physical activity programme before vaccination which could result in 20 to 40 per cent more effective immunisation.

“If exercise was a pill, we would be publicly funding it and sending it to every New Zealander as a part of the covid public health prevention strategy.”

The research carried out by an international team of researchers, led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), also found that physical activity can boost the effectiveness of vaccines by up to 40 per cent.

GCU conducted a review of 16,698 worldwide epidemiological studies published between January 1980 and April 2020 along with world-renowned immunologists and epidemiologists from University College London and Ghent University in Belgium, exercise and sports scientists from Cádiz University in Spain and a public health consultant from NHS Lanarkshire.

The research found that 30 minutes of activity five days a week or 150 minutes a week that gets people slightly out of breath such as walking, running, cycling and strengthening exercises can have a massive impact on immunity to infectious diseases such as covid.

The study report says physical activity strengthens the first line of defence of the human immune system and a higher concentration of immune cells in the world’s first study into the link between exercise and covid immunity.

The research has been published in the Sports Medicine journal.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland