Avoid heavy physical activity and outdoor exposure after Diwali: Experts

NEW DELHI: Avoid heavy physical activity on high air pollution days. The faster you breathe, the more polluted air you inhale, warned experts for the days after Diwali.

"You may not be able to avoid leaving the house for work. However, you can choose to avoid time outdoors at a park, doing lawn work, etc. If you have to be outdoors, limit activity to the early morning hours or wait until after sunset. This is important in high-ozone conditions (such as in many large cities) because sunshine increases Ozone levels. Avoid heavy physical activity also. The faster you breathe, the more polluted air you inhale," said Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, a Gynecologist.

Air pollution is identified as one of major risk factor for high global burden of disease. As per WHO estimates, Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016. It is also important to note that most of these premature deaths occur in WHO-SEARO, which includes India.

"In children and adults, both short- and long-term exposure to ambient air pollution can lead to reduced lung function, frequent respiratory infections and asthma. Chronic Obstructed Lung Diseases gets aggravated during periods of very poor air quality index, which is being witnessed in Delhi for last couple of days. Maternal exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, pre-term birth and small gestational age births. Emerging evidence also suggests ambient air pollution may affect diabetes and neurological development in children," said Dr Dinesh Agarwal a Senior Technical Advisor, Health and Nutrition.

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