Immune system and physical activity


  • Vincenzo Cristian Francavilla Kore University of Enna, Italy
  • Rita Polito University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy
  • Giuseppe Messina University of Palermo, Italy
  • Maria Chiara Parisi Kore University of Enna, Italy
  • Omar Gaetano Maria Mingrino Kore University of Enna, Italy
  • Angelo Campanozzi University of Foggia, Italy
  • Aurora Daniele Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Italy
  • Antonietta Messina Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Italy
  • Vincenzo Monda Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Italy
  • Anna Valenzano University of Foggia, Italy


Immunity, Exercise, Physical activity, Neoplasm


Regular physical activity and sport are able to modify the diffused neuro-immuno-endocrine-endothelial system. This emerges from careful scientific research that finds deep interconnections between the psyche, the nervous system, endocrine organs and the immune response. There is an interconnection between the psychoendocrine-immunological system and respiratory infections in athletes. The appearance of leucocytosis during intense physical activity can explain to us how strenuous exercise is responsible for a temporary depression of the immune system; indeed, the physical activity reduces the proliferative activity and function of T-lymphocytes and Natural Killer cells. This is associated with the influence of multiple factors such as age and gender. The respiratory mechanics during strenuous physical activity favours the dehydration of the mucous membranes, the modification of the mucociliary clearance and therefore the predisposition to infections, until the appearance of more complicated diseases such as neoplasms, as reported by data literature. In conclusion, regular and moderate exercise improves the immune system, reduces environmental and psychological stress, decreases the demand and administration of chemotherapy and immunosuppressants.


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How to Cite

Francavilla, V. C., Polito, R., Messina, G., Parisi, M. C., Mingrino, O. G. M., Campanozzi, A., Daniele, A., Messina, A., Monda, V., & Valenzano, A. (2020). Immune system and physical activity. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(4proc), S1534-S1543. Retrieved from

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