The researchers gathered data, too, about each person’s known risk factors for severe Covid, including their age, smoking habits, weight, and any history of cancer, diabetes, organ transplants, kidney problems and other serious, underlying conditions.
Then the researchers crosschecked numbers, with arresting results. People in the least-active group, who almost never exercised, wound up hospitalized because of Covid at twice the rate of people in the most-active group, and were subsequently about two-and-a-half times more likely to die. Even compared to people in the somewhat-active group, they were hospitalized about 20 percent more often and were about 30 percent more likely to die.
Of the other common risk factors for severe disease, only advanced age and organ transplants increased the likelihood of hospitalization and mortality from Covid more than being inactive, the scientists found.
“Being sedentary was the greatest risk factor” for severe illness, “unless someone was elderly or an