- A study has shown that walking around heavily polluted areas could reduce the positive impacts of exercise.
- It concludes that over-60s and those with lung and heart problems should steer clear of urban areas with heavy traffic.
It’s no secret that cities are some of the most polluted places on Earth. In fact, Oxford Street and other roads in London famously often surpass their legal pollution limit just a few days into the year.
But it can be difficult to think about what the pollution is doing to our health with so many other things to worry about. Many of us might think everything will be fine if we are healthy in other parts of our life, like eating well and exercising regularly.
Unfortunately, for some people, this is not true. According to a new study, published in The Lancet, some people who take walks around city streets could be putting their health at risk.
The researchers from Imperial College London and Duke University in the USA recruited 119 people for the study who were either healthy, had stable heart disease, or stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — a type of lung disease.
The participants were randomly assigned to walk around either Oxford Street or Hyde Park. Then, a few weeks later, they walked in the other location.
All the participants who walked around the park benefitted from increased lung capacity after the first hour, but very little difference was seen for those who walked around Oxford Street.
While people doing the park walk had increased blood flow and their arteries became less stiff by 24% in some cases, the Oxford Street walkers saw barely any improvement, with just a 4.6% improvement for healthy volunteers.
Oxford Street has been cleaning up its act recently by introducing electric buses, which has seen <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" Read More Here