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14 Jan 2022

Londoners told to avoid exercise today due to very high levels of air pollution
BY Tom Walker

The advice calls for even those without any underlying health conditions to reduce physical exertion

The advice calls for even those without any underlying health conditions to reduce physical exertion
photo: Shutterstock/RossHelen

People living in London have been advised to avoid or reduce strenuous exercise today (Friday 14 January) – especially outdoors – due to exceptionally high levels of air pollution caused by an area of high pressure over western Europe.

This weather system means emissions and pollutants are not dispersed by the movement of air.

Measurements of air pollution in some areas of the capital, including in central and east and west London, are expected to reach "very high" levels (level 10 on the official Daily Air Quality Index).

The government's own advice states that in the case of pollution levels hitting band 10 – the highest level – adults and children with lung or heart problems, as well as all older people, should avoid strenuous physical activity.

According to the advice, even those without any underlying health conditions should reduce physical exertion – particularly outdoors.

It is the first time levels have hit 10 in London since March 2018 and if the problem persists, air pollution could become a future threat for the fitness sector – especially given the rise in the prevalence of outdoor gyms over the past two years, largely due to the pandemic.

A number of health club operators have also added outdoor workout elements to their offerings in a search for COVID-secure operating models.

Have you been affected by – or are you concerned about – air pollution and its potential effects on your fitness business? Let us know at [email protected]



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