Due to Air Pollution in These Cities, Exercising is Actually Harmful to Health

We’ve always heard that exercising is the easiest and the surest way to stay fit and healthy. Well, that might not be always true, depending on where you live. According to a recent study, the damage caused to your health due to cycling in highly polluted areas might outweigh its advantages. In fact, you would be better off not cycling at all.

Researchers modeled the health effects of active travel and of air pollution by measuring air quality through average annual levels of PM2.5s. These are the tiny pollutant particles produced by dust storms, forest fires, motor vehicles, manufacturing, etc. and can embed themselves deep in the lungs.

They came up with the concept of “breakeven point”. It is the number of minutes that you can cycle/jog without it doing more harm than good to your health.

In some of the most polluted cities around the globe, such as Zabol, a city in Iran; or Gwalior, a city in India; you can cross the breakeven point in just 30 minutes. In simple terms, if you cycle or jog in some certain cities for more than half an hour, it would outweigh the usual health gains of cycling due to the long-term damage from inhaling fine particulates.

How Do Pakistani Cities fare?

They compiled a list of the cities with the worst PM2.5 levels, using data from WHO 2016. The list is almost completely dominated by Asian cities. It includes three Pakistani cities as well; namely, Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi.


via The Guardian