Decreased Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity Levels in Children With Asthma Are Associated With Increased Traffic-Related Air Pollutants
AbstractPeople with asthma, particularly young children, are more adversely affected by traffic emissions—and regular exercise reduces asthma symptoms and improves lung function. We studied the relationship between air pollution and objectively measured physical activity in children with asthma who were attending a school near a freeway. We continuously monitored air pollutants—PM2.5, PM10, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3)—at the school for 10 weeks and measured physical activity levels via accelerometry in children (n = 12, ages 6–12 years). Concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 were negatively associated with moderate to vigorous physical activity (PM2.5 and PM10: p < .001; NO2: p = .04) and positively associated with sedentary activity (PM2.5 and PM10: p < .001; NO2: p = .02). Physical activity is decreased and sedentary behavior is increased in children with asthma when air pollutants are higher. Strategies are available to mitigate air pollutant impact on beneficial physical activity during the school day.
Published: April 2023
- Juan Aguilera, MPH, MD, PhD, Center for Community Health Impact, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health
- Soyoung Jeon, PhD, Department of Economics, Applied Statistics, and International Business, New Mexico State University
- Amit U. Raysoni, MPH, PhD, School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
- Wen-Whai Li, PhD, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at El Paso
- Leah D. Whigham, PhD, FTOS, Center for Community Health Impact, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health