The findings of a recent study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine link attendance at medical fitness centers with a lower mortality rate.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine has released the findings of a study titled, “Association of Membership at a Medical Fitness Facility with Adverse Health Outcomes.” The results provide evidence linking attendance at medical fitness centers — in particular, the Wellness Institute and the Reh-Fit Centre — with a lower incidence of mortality and hospitalization.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Chronic Disease Innovation Centre (CDIC) at Seven Oaks General Hospital (SOGH) and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba in collaboration with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP). The research was funded by the Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation, in addition to Research Manitoba and the Heart and Stroke Foundation through the Primary Prevention Research Chair.
Following are key takeaways from the study linking attendance at medical fitness centers with a lower mortality rate:
- Over a 10-year period, members of the certified medical fitness facilities experienced a 60% reduction in the risk of death and a 13% reduction in the risk of hospitalization compared to a control group matched on age, sex, income and health conditions.
- When participants attended a minimum of three times per week, their risk of hospitalization dropped by an astounding 39%.
“The findings of this first-of-its-kind study are quite striking,” said Sue Boreskie, the CEO of Reh-Fit. “They demonstrate the medical fitness difference and the value of the medically integrated fitness centre. We have long known that physical activity enhances the quality of life of its members. Now, we have evidence to show the impact medical fitness can have on public health prevention.”
According to Boreskie, these findings are particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where a COVID-19 diagnosis is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization, greater need for intensive care, increased dependence on a ventilator, and higher risk of mortality.
“We hope the findings of the study opens up a dialogue when it comes to the role medical fitness centers can play not only in promoting physical activity but in public health and public health prevention,” said Boreskie.