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Mar 2, 2021
Sports and Air Quality: The Undeniable Connection
Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed the World Health Organization's safe levels. Here’s a frame to practice your sport in safety in a polluted environment.
"Breathless, I finish my morning run and try to say hello to my neighbours between gasps for air."
Sounds familiar? Air Pollution is real. We bear an excessive burden of air pollution which is alarmingly hitting a critical point. Did you know that nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed the World Health Organization's safe levels?
At Decathlon we believe in sustainably making the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to the many. Our priority is to create value in the long term for our people and our planet. We understand that Sport’s fate is intricately linked to the quality of air as it brings along connotations of health hazards. By spreading the word about specific recommended guidelines of controlling exertion levels of your activities when the Air Quality is a concern, we hope to increase awareness and take action to ensure that you practice your sport in safety.
It’s not possible to stop breathing or completely disengage from physical activities so we believe there can be some sort of frame to practice your sport in a polluted environment.
We’ve developed a frame with Fit2Sport which we call the AQI Sport Recommendation is based on Air Quality Level, Intensity while playing a sport (Rate of Perceived Exertion) and practice for less than one hour.
National Air Quality Index -
Air quality index (AQI) is used by Pollution Control Board of India to communicate how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become.
There are various modes of measuring the level of physical activity. A simple mode of physical activity level assessment is Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). This is subjective, yet scientifically proven with excellent reliability and validity for estimating physical activity intensity.
What more can we all do?
Sports and the Earth are undeniably linked - the everyday games played by millions of people all over the world - and from this current generation of sports enthusiasts, a new generation will emerge. It's time we preserve our "Only Playground."
Today individuals, corporations, countries, cities and other entities are feeling this same sense of urgency and obligation toward the environment.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute in your little way to a cleaner and healthier environment.
1. Cycle to Work or to Run Errands -
Transportation accounts for a huge percentage of CO2 emissions in India. Cycling is a zero-emissions way to get from place another.
2. Walk More Often -
Along with physical, the environmental benefits of walking are many if you refuse to take out your motor vehicles for walkable distances. Communities designed to be walkable have the potential to reduce air pollution in half.
3. Carpool -
Having fewer cars on the road means reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions and improved air quality. The Odd-Even Movement is Delhi is a step toward that direction. Today you even have companies like Quickride that manage your transits via Carpooling.
4. Use Public Transport -
Using public transport is an environmentally friendly way of going around. By carrying many passengers on a single vehicle, it can reduce the number of vehicles and therefore the amount of emissions associated with each vehicle.
5. Refuse to Create Waste -
It's not very difficult. Carry your own washable cups, plates, and spoons. Refuse plastic straws and bottles. It's up to us to choose a minimalistic modern lifestyle which is more enriching. Changing our consumption habits to reduce waste production will result in a lesser quantity of the problem to be dealt with.
6. Recycle all non-organic waste -
Recycling has been around for ages, we just call it different things. It's also referred to as being frugal. Earlier, people would make an effort to fix broken or spoilt things. Instead of submitting to single-use patterns, try to practice effective recycling and reduction of waste.
7. Never Burn Trash -
Plastic and Air Pollution; that's a real burning problem. An estimated 40 to 50 percent of our trash is made up of carbon by mass, which means that carbon dioxide is the major gas emitted by trash burning, heavily contributing to air pollution.
8. Organize Clean-Up Drives -
Whether you're hiking up the mountains or you love watersports or you're thinking of a community-run, convert them into little clean-up drives in order to preserve your playing area.
9. Turn off lights and electronics, not in use -
With no questions asked because every light or gadget left on when not needed is wasting energy and causing pollution that is totally unnecessary.
The pollution warnings regularly issued by the governmental health authorities are increasingly frequent. It must be said that there are a number of risks associated with breathing in a polluted environment.
Do you subscribe to the “Leave no trace” philosophy? This philosophy is very pro environment that aims to preserve the beauty and sanctity of mother nature giving you and your future generations the opportunity to enjoy your ground of practice for a longer time.
As a founder of “Fit2Sport," my team and I work in the field of injury prevention & management, sports specific fitness guidance and program execution for a better future for sports specific fitness & performance enhancement; helping build champions.