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NZ Chiropractors Say Keeping Active This Winter Will Help You Fight Covid

Published: Mon 8 Aug 2022 11:36 AM
The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) says the latest research shows that staying active helps reduce the effects of Covid-19 infection and calls on Kiwis to look after their physical wellbeing and mental health during the winter months.
A new study of almost 50,000 patients with COVID-19 published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine[1] found that physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes. NZCA spokesperson Dr Jenna Duehr, chiropractor explains: ‘The researchers say that consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes among infected adults.’
According to the NZCA this study is the latest in a growing number of research findings reinforcing the importance of exercise and spinal function in protecting health longer term. A meta-analysis of 22 international longitudinal studies published in JAMA Pediatrics[2] revealed a decrease of 17 minutes per day in children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity from pre-pandemic to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further research confirms that increased exercise improves the outcomes of other
healthcare interventions by improving the body’s ability to repair itself. A paper in the
British Journal of Sports Medicine looking at cancer patients who underwent a structured "prehabilitation" exercise programme while they were undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed tumour shrinkage[3] compared to a control group of patients who did not exercise.
Another piece of research published in the British Medical Journal shows that just an extra 20 minutes of physical activity a day among older people halves their risk of heart disease[4].
Dr Duehr explains: `We don’t even have to do that much exercise to make a difference. A study in JAMA Internal Medicine[5] shows that If most people added just 10 extra minutes of walking, or some other kind of moderate physical activity every day we could help prevent thousands of deaths each year..
The Straighten Up NZ website https://www.straightenup.org.nz/ has a range of exercises to promote movement and spinal health, which can be done at home. In addition, the ‘Just Start Walking’ initiative by the World Federation of Chiropractic is an easy-to-use program to help encourage regular physical activity, developed to raise awareness about the importance of keeping active and the benefits this can offer to your overall well-being. Dr Duehr also recommends boosting vitamin D levels by getting outside (or supplement, if required, during winter), supporting the immune system with quality vitamin C and zinc supplements, maintaining good hydration, staying positive and by exercising so that the heart rate is raised and endorphins are generated.
Chiropractors are regulated primary health care professionals registered under the HPCA Act with close to 700 annual practicing certificate holders working in solo, group, and multidisciplinary clinics around New Zealand. New Zealand chiropractors have significant training (a minimum 5-year tertiary degree) and a broad yet highly skilled scope of practice and clinical expertise.
New Zealand’s chiropractors are taking the lead to inform and inspire people to improve their health and prevent pain and disability by educating the public to have a greater understanding of the relationship between their spine and nervous system and how this affects their function and overall well-being.
[1] https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/55/19/1099
[2] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2794075
[3] https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2022/01/25/bjsports-2021-104243
[4] https://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2022/01/16/heartjnl-2021-320013
[5] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2788473

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