How does air pollution affect outdoor sports?
• In 2018, World Athletics began a campaign to raise awareness on the importance of air quality, a project in which Kunak provides its monitoring solutions.
• Kunak's equipment has been tested at numerous sports events such as the Mexico City or Valencia marathons.
• The changes in breathing brought about by practising sport outdoors can worsen the negative effect of pollution.
Citius, Altius, Fortius. Faster, Higher, and Stronger. This is the slogan of the Olympic Games, one of the symbols of the Olympic spirit along with the torch and the interlocking rings.
The reason behind measuring air pollution in sports
Air quality conditions sport performance. At least, this has been suggested by studies such as that conducted by Guo & Fu (1), which analysed 56 marathons held in China during 2014 and 2015. For example, one of the conclusions was that an average marathon runner would need 12 more minutes to cross the finish line when pollution is high, similar to that recorded during the 2014 Beijing marathon.
However, pollution is a factor that varies throughout the day and along the race route. After all, its level is influenced by aspects such as traffic density, weather conditions or solar radiation. Thus, as a recent research study by Yale University shows, the formation of secondary organic aerosols, which are key to the concentration of PM2.5 particles, increase with solar radiation and ambient temperature (2). There are other emission sources in addition to this particulate matter, such as particles generated by tyres or brake wear.
World Athletics, formerly the IAAF, is aware of the consequences of pollution. For this reason, in 2018 and in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, it launched an awareness campaign to highlight the value of air quality in stadiums and sport events. The purpose was to monitor the parameters that can impact on the performance and health of athletes and the general population.
Continuous, real-time measurement enables patterns to be established as well as the analysis of the best times to train or compete. Many athletic events could be avoided during the worst time of the day, as Dr Paolo Emilio Adami, Director of the Health and Science Department of World Athletics, expressed in 2018.
Kunak's experience measuring air quality in sports competitions
As an air pollution monitoring solutions provider for World Athletics, Kunak is providing the technological means and data for this monitoring to be carried out reliably and rigorously. Thus, our Kunak Air A10 has been tested in different sporting events such as:
- Valencia marathon.
- The Diamond League in Monaco.
- Mexico City Marathon .
- 2019 World Athletics Relays in Yokohama, Japan.
- Addis Ababa Athletic Stadium (Ethiopia).
- Nairobi (Kenya).
More at: https://www.kunak.es/