African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 21, No. 1, 2021, pp. 189-193
Bioline Code: hs21037
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2021, pp. 189-193
© Copyright 2021 - Tokunbo O et al.
COVID-19: sitting is the new smoking; the role of exercise in augmenting the immune system among the elderly|
Tokunbo, Olorunfemi; Abayomi, Taiwo; Adekomi, Damilare & Oyeyipo, Ibukun
Introduction: Like smoking, sedentary lifestyle is an issue of great concern because of its deleterious health challenges and
implications. Given the global spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), social isolation regulations and laws have been
implemented in many countries to contain the spread of the virus and this has caused a drastic shift from the usual physically
demanding life to a sedentary lifestyle characterized by significantly reduced physical activities and prolong sitting.
Methods/Data Source: Human and nonhuman primate literature was examined to compare experimental and clinical
modulation of inflammatory cytokines by exercised-induced myokines.
Data synthesis: Experimental and clinical evidence was used to examine whether exercised-induced myokines can prime
the immune system of the elderly population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: The immune system changes with advancement in age which increases the likelihood of infectious disease
morbidity and mortality in older adults. Several epidemiological studies have also shown that physical inactivity among geriatric
population impacts negatively on the immune system. Evidences on the importance of exercise in priming the immune
system of elderly individuals could be an effective therapeutic strategy in combating the virus as it may well be a case of “let
those with the best immune system win”.
Exercise; immune system; sedentary lifestyle; myokines.