Regular exercise increase life span even in polluted areas: Study
New Delhi : A study has revealed that regular exercise even in polluted areas can decrease the risk of death due to natural causes.
The findings from the study have been published in the 'Canadian Medical Association Journal'.
"Habitual exercise reduces the risk of death regardless of exposure to air pollution, and air pollution generally increases the risk of death regardless of habitual exercise," wrote Dr Xiang Qian Lao, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China, with coauthors.
"Thus, habitual exercise should be promoted as a health improvement strategy, even for people residing in relatively polluted areas," added Dr Lao.
The study was conducted in a large time span of 15 years from 2001 to 2016. The researchers included 3,84,130 adults in Taiwan to study the effect of regular exercise and long-term exposure to fine particles on the risk of death due to natural causes.
The researchers found that those who did regular exercise had better health than those who ditched exercise, although they mentioned that less exposure to pollution was better.
"We found that a high level of habitual exercise and a low level of exposure to air pollution was associated with lower risk of death from natural causes, whereas a low level of habitual exercise and a high level of exposure was associated with a higher risk of death," wrote the authors.
Recommendations for safe exercise in polluted areas, such as indoor exercise, and avoiding walking and biking on congested roads, can contribute to inequalities as people of lower socioeconomic status often lack these options.
"Both physical inactivity and air pollution have detrimental effects on health. Staying active should not be at the cost of compromised health from air pollution," wrote the commentary authors.
"Addressing both major public health issues through synergistic, upstream, system-level approaches would lead to long-term health benefits for humans and the planet," they concluded.