January 11, 2018 – Exercise and Air Pollution


Anchor lead: Can exercising in polluted air actually be harmful? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you’re an older adult, when is exercise actually worse than remaining sedentary? When you exercise in an area that has a lot of air pollution, a recent study in the Lancet concluded. Corinne Keet, an asthma and allergy expert at Johns Hopkins and air pollution researcher, comments.

Keet: This study showed that among older adults who walked in a polluted area compared to those who walked in a non-polluted park area, that those people who walked in a polluted area actually ended up having decreased lung function with their exercise and decreased measures of cardiovascular health. I don’t think this means that you shouldn’t exercise if you’re living in a city but I do think it points to the importance of reducing air pollution in our areas where we live and if possible for people to exercise in less polluted areas.  :32

Keet says people who live in areas with a lot of air pollution should consider walking indoors, especially if they have lung or heart conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.