Small steps, strong shield: directly measured, moderate physical activity in 65 361 adults is associated with significant protective effects from severe COVID-19 outcomes
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  • Published on:
    Small steps, but based on the right conclusions?

    Dear Editor,

    As a general practitioner and specialist in the musculoskeletal system, I have read the article
    “Small Steps, strong shield: directly measured moderate physical activity in 65361 adults is associated with significant protective affects from severe COVID-19 outcomes” from Steenkamp et al with great interest. The covid epidemic has put a huge burden of disease on the entire world and is weighing heavily on the capacity of healthcare. More and more is known about risk and protective factors for individuals to become severely ill from COVID-19 and this study contributes to this. In addition, prevention of disease is becoming an increasingly important task of health care, partly in order to curb rising healthcare costs.(1) Good physical condition can help prevent certain diseases as mentioned in the article.

    The authors have collected a large dataset from a very large group of people in South Africa. What is missing in the analysis, however, is data on BMI. Studies show that BMI is an important risk factor for severe course of COVID-19. A high BMI, or adiposity, is one of the strongest reported risk factors for severe COVID-19. (2). In this study, the BMI was available in only 50% of the study population. Authors claim that when adding BMI to the model it did not alter the outcome for severe COVID-19 disease for the different physical activity groups. The authors attribute this to associated diseases such as hypertension and DM2, however researc...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.