Does physical activity lower the risk of bacterial infections?

The risk of viral infections is known to be affected by physical activity, but little information is available regarding the more serious infections caused by bacteria.

Credit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

In this study, the investigators examined the relationship between leisure-time physical activity and suspected bacterial infections during a one-year follow up.

Suspected bacterial infections were determined based on prescriptions for antibiotics. Via the use of Denmark’s unique civil registration number (an identification number assigned to all citizens at birth), it was possible to link health survey information with information from nationwide registries.

Results showed that compared with sedentary behavior, low leisure-time physical activity was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of any suspected bacterial infection.

Further, low and moderate levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with a 21 percent and 32 percent reduction of suspected cystitis (urinary tract bacterial infections), respectively — compared with individuals classified as sedentary. Suspected respiratory tract bacterial infections, however, were not associated with physical activity level.

Web Source: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Reference List:

KATHRINE PAPE, LOUISE RYTTERGAARD, TORILL ALISE ROTEVATN, BERIT JAMIE NIELSEN, CHRISTIAN TORP-PEDERSEN, CHARLOTTE OVERGAARD, HENRIK BØGGILD. Leisure-Time Physical Activity and the Risk of Suspected Bacterial Infections. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2016; 48 (9): 1737 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000953