How polluted is your running route?

Rick Pearson
·1-min read
Photo credit: Matthew Leete - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matthew Leete - Getty Images

From Runner's World

Regular exercise, even in areas with high levels of air pollution, can help prevent high blood pressure, says a new study. However, the research also noted the correlation between air pollution and high blood pressure.

According to new research published in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation, researchers classified levels of exposure to fine particulate matter (the standard indicator of air pollution) as low, moderate or high. For each increase in the level of air pollution, there was a 38 per cent greater risk of high blood pressure. ‘Physical activity, even in polluted air, is an important high blood pressure prevention strategy,’ said study author Xiang Qian Lao.

The team of researchers at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong studied more than 140,000 non-hypertensive adults in Taiwan and followed them for an average of 5 years.

While there is no international – or even national – clean air route app, Londoners can find low pollution routes thanks to Tenzing's Clean Air Tracker. The platform helps runners to find and create clean-air routes, and offers challenges to find the cleanest routes in the capital. These are given a score out of 100, based on their clean-air credentials.

To work out how green your running route might be, follow this simple chart:



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