Muscat: As part of the Sultanate's celebrations on the Omani Physical Activity Day, which falls on October 02, the Department of Community Health Initiatives in the Ministry of Health (MOH), on Tuesday, organised an online forum on the relation between physical activity and COVID-19.
The forum touched upon several related topics such as the healthy lifestyle during COVID-19 pandemic, the role of physical activity in improving the mental state during the pandemic, as well as the scientific facts about how physical activity may help reduce the consequences of coronavirus.
In addition, the forum addressed a new study on the rate of physical activity in the Sultanate among college students.
Dr Huda bint Khalfan Al-Siabi, Director of Community Health Initiatives stressed that physical activity is a valuable tool to control the infection and maintain public health. For which, practising physical activity may reduce the severity of COVID-19 infection due to muscle activity that results in improving the immunity system and reducing the infection, therefore, reduces the chances for admitting the infected cases and using the ventilators, which would alleviate the burden on the healthcare systems during the pandemic.
Al-Siabi highlighted the role of physical activity in reducing persistent tension and stress, as well as maintaining mental health.
Dr Amal Al-Siyabi, Head of Health Community Partnership at the Community Health Initiative Department has conducted a study on the ratio, type and barriers that prevent Omani university students from exercising physical activity.
The study indicated that more than half of the Omani university students were physically active, and one-quarter of the students are physically inactive. The study also showed that 17.4% of Omani students are not practising any physical activity and 15.2% have a low rate of physical activity. In which the highest rate of moderate-intensity was stood at 43.5%.
On her side, Dr Ameera Al-Ridan, Head of Mental Health at the Non-Communicable Diseases highlighted the enhancement of mental health through practising physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.