To what extent does air quality have an impact on athletic performance?
There is a link between air quality and athletic performance. Polluted air can therefore affect the health and ability of athletes to train and perform optimally.
Air pollution can cause irritation of the respiratory tract, which can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. This results in a reduction of the ability of athletes to breathe properly and sustain physical effort.
Long-term air pollution can also cause damage to the lungs and cardiovascular system, which usually leads to a reduction in the body's ability to provide oxygen to the muscles and recover after exercise.
Air quality is also essential for the recovery of athletes, clean air allowing a restful sleep and better aerobic capacity.
Muscles are supplied with oxygen by the cardiovascular system. When the heart contracts, it pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients to the muscles through the arteries. The muscles then use the oxygen to produce energy through a chemical reaction called cellular respiration. Carbon dioxide and water are produced as waste products of this reaction, which are then transported by blood to the lungs to be eliminated.
It is therefore important for athletes to train in places where the air quality is good, in order to maximize their performance and health. There are many studies that have established a link between air quality and athletic performance, but we will focus today on a study on indoor air quality.
This study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined the effects of air pollution on indoor basketball performance. The results are clear: players who trained in rooms with poor air quality had significantly lower free throw and three-point shooting scores than those who trained in rooms with better air quality.
It is important to note that this study is just one example among many others (such as one from Building and Environment) that have established a link between air quality and indoor athletic performance. If you want to delve further into the topic of air quality in sports halls, take a look at our article on the subject.