GENEVA -- The World Health Organization says people need to get more active, warning that up to 5 million deaths worldwide could be avoided each year if people were. That's despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.N. health agency, launching updated guidelines on sedentary behavior Thursday, is pointing to figures that one in four adults don’t get enough physical activity -- a situation complicated by the COVID-19 crisis that has shut many people indoors.
The agency recommends at least 2 1/2 hours of “moderate to vigorous aerobic activity” for adults per week, and an hour per day for kids and teens.
A lack of physical activity leads to extra health care costs of $54 billion per year, plus another $14 billion in lost productivity, the Geneva-based WHO said.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.