Vigorous exercise 'cuts flu risk'

Doing at least 2.5 hours a week of activity that leads to sweating or hard breathing reduces flu or flu-like illness, analysis suggests

Doing at least 2.5 hours a week of activity that leads to sweating or hard breathing reduces flu or flu-like illness, analysis suggests

First published in National News © by

Taking part in vigorous exercise - such as running, fast cycling or rugby - cuts the risk of catching flu by around 10%, research suggests.

Doing at least 2.5 hours a week of activity that leads to sweating or hard breathing reduces flu or flu-like illness, the analysis found.

More gentle pursuits, such as walking or light jogging, were found to have little effect.

Experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined data from its online flu study, Flusurvey.

They found overall flu levels across the UK appear to be down on last year, with the flu season apparently curbed by a lack of illness among children and young people.

Over the winter flu season, 4.7% of people were believed to have flu compared to 6% the previous year.

Some 5% of children were reported to have flu, compared to almost 8% the previous year.

More than 4,800 people have taken part in this year's Flusurvey so far

Dr Alma Adler, research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "We're really interested in the preliminary findings around fitness activity and flu-like illness, as exercise is something that everyone can do to reduce your chance of having flu.

"We need to treat this result cautiously as these are preliminary findings, however they are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise.

"Although many people have dodged the flu bullet this winter, flu can occur at any time, so taking advantage of the better weather is a great opportunity to get out and get fit to ward off flu this spring."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree