WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Flusurvey study shows correlation between exercise and decreased risk of influenza infection

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine recently released the preliminary results of this year's Flusurvey study and found a correlation between vigorous exercise and decreased risk of influenza infection.

This year, researchers found that persons who received at least 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise per week saw a reduction in flu-like illness by approximately 10 percent. This year's survey also found a decrease in cases of influenza infection, compared to last year.

"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," National Science & Engineering Week Ambassador and Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Dr. Alma Adler said. "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."

Flusurvey is an online study conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This year, more than 4.800 persons participated in the study, showing that approximately 100 out of 1,000 cases were possibly prevented through vigorous exercise. The researchers found no correlation between moderate exercise and decreased risk of infection.

The preliminary results of the study were released in observation of National Science & Engineering Week, an initiative to honor science for the central role it plays in the world today.

"If we want to get young people talking about science, we need to show why scientific study today directly impacts on their lives," British Science Association CEO Imran Khan said. "This project, which involves children reporting and analyzing topical data, really brings the issue to life and puts young people right at the heart of cutting-edge research today."