Does Exercise Make Sense In Polluted Air?

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Does Exercise Make Sense In Polluted Air?
Does Exercise Make Sense In Polluted Air?

Video: Does Exercise Make Sense In Polluted Air?

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Video: Exercising in polluted air: a health dilemma 2023, January
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Does exercise make sense in polluted air?

Scientists analyzed data on physical activity in Taiwan in the context of the risk of hypertension.

Does exercise make sense in polluted air?
Does exercise make sense in polluted air?

Photo: CARLOS PÉREZ ADSUAR ANTÓN / Pexels

About 91% of the world's population lives in areas with air that does not meet WHO standards. Air pollution is linked to the development of many diseases.

People living in areas with dirty air face a peculiar dilemma. On the one hand, it is known that physical activity in such conditions leads to the inhalation of more harmful substances. This could potentially increase health risks. On the other hand, physical activity helps in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. The question is raised, does it make sense to exercise in such conditions, does the risk outweigh the benefits?

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In a new study published in Circulation, scientists provide a partial answer to this question. People who exercise in polluted air have a lower risk of hypertension (high blood pressure).

The study authors analyzed data on more than 140,000 people living in Taiwan. On average, the participants were followed up for about 5 years, at the beginning of the study, none of them suffered from hypertension.

The scientists took into account the level of pollution by small particles (PM2.5), which are usually formed during fuel combustion, in the area where each participant lives. They took into account the physical activity and blood pressure of the participants. Scientists considered high blood pressure starting from 130/90 millimeters of mercury, according to American recommendations.

It turned out that when the air is polluted, physical activity is fully justified. The study showed that each subsequent degree of pollution (from mild to severe) is associated with an increase in the risk of hypertension by 38%. Each step in increasing physical activity (from mild to vigorous) reduced the risk of hypertension by 6%.

Physical activity was beneficial for all levels of air pollution. Scientists remind that exercise is a versatile, safe and effective method of preventing hypertension.

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