Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

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Exercise and blood clotting in a time of COVID-19

Dr Emma Zadow is an Exercise Scientist and Lecturer with the La Trobe Rural Health School. Her research interests include improving athletic performance, whilst also investigating haemostatic responses (i.e. blood clots) to exercise, and the prevention of blood clot risk within an athletic population.  Emma is also a very eager Netball fan and is working very closely with Tasmanian and Victorian State Netball Teams.  Her twitter handle is: @ekzadow

At a recent HRI Active Individuals research theme seminar Dr Emma Zadow  presented her upcoming research into whether exercise can reduce the risk of blood clotting in COVID-19 patients. In these patients, thrombosis – excess clotting that obstructs blood flow – is a major cause of intensive care admission and death.

Emma and her colleagues are setting up a study to investigate if light intensity exercise can help reduce the risk of blood clots, particularly with people with pre-existing health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.

It is well known that exercise prevents blood clot formation by increasing blood flow, while the COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in an 30-50% increase in sedentary behaviour, and a COVID-19 diagnosis results in the patient being immobile and bed-bound. To study if small amounts of low intensity exercise assist people in this situation, the team will study how blood markers change as a result of very low to moderate intensity exercise, and analyse blood samples from their study participants for changes in markers related to clotting.

We look forward to sharing the results and recommendations of this research.