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December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4)

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Research Plus

Resistance to common colds

People with perceived high physical fitness and who undertake regular physical activity (at least five days a week) are significantly less like to suffer an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) compared with unfit or inactive people, according to this 12-week cohort study. A total of 1,002 adults were classified as low, medium or high physical fitness. Incidence of the common cold was evaluated using the validated Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey. Participants with high physical fitness reported 46% fewer days with URTI than those in the low fitness group, and those taking at least five days’ exercise per week had 43% fewer days with URTI than inactive individuals. Fitter and more active people also reported less severe symptoms. The differences remained after adjusting for confounders (eg age, education, BMI, marital status and fruit intake).  

British Journal of Sports Medicine 2010; online first: doi:10.1136/bjsm.2010.077875.

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4) pp45