Impact of ambient air pollution on physical activity among adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ruopeng An, Sheng Zhang, Mengmeng Ji, Chenghua Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Aims: This study systematically reviewed literature regarding the impact of ambient air pollution on physical activity among children and adults. Methods: Keyword and reference search was conducted in PubMed and Web of Science to systematically identify articles meeting all of the following criteria – study designs: interventions or experiments, retrospective or prospective cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, and case-control studies; subjects: adults; exposures: specific air pollutants and overall air quality; outcomes: physical activity and sedentary behaviour; article types: peer-reviewed publications; and language: articles written in English. Meta-analysis was performed to estimate the pooled effect size of ambient PM 2.5 air pollution on physical inactivity. Results: Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Among them, six were conducted in the United States, and one was conducted in the United Kingdom. Six adopted a cross-sectional study design, and one used a prospective cohort design. Six had a sample size larger than 10,000. Specific air pollutants assessed included PM 2.5 , PM 10 , O 3 , and NO x , whereas two studies focused on overall air quality. All studies found air pollution level to be negatively associated with physical activity and positively associated with leisure-time physical inactivity. Study participants, and particularly those with respiratory disease, self-reported a reduction in outdoor activities to mitigate the detrimental impact of air pollution. Meta-analysis revealed a one unit (μg/m 3 ) increase in ambient PM 2.5 concentration to be associated with an increase in the odds of physical inactivity by 1.1% (odds ratio = 1.011; 95% confidence interval = 1.001, 1.021; p-value <.001) among US adults. Conclusions: Existing literature in general suggested that air pollution discouraged physical activity. Current literature predominantly adopted a cross-sectional design and focused on the United States. Future studies are warranted to implement a longitudinal study design and evaluate the impact of air pollution on physical activity in heavily polluted developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives in Public Health
Volume138
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Fingerprint

Air Pollution
Meta-Analysis
Exercise
Air Pollutants
Cross-Sectional Studies
Air
Leisure Activities
PubMed
Sample Size
Developing Countries
Longitudinal Studies
Publications
Case-Control Studies
Cohort Studies
Language
Odds Ratio
Prospective Studies
Confidence Intervals

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • exercise
  • meta-analysis
  • review
  • sedentary lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Impact of ambient air pollution on physical activity among adults : a systematic review and meta-analysis. / An, Ruopeng; Zhang, Sheng; Ji, Mengmeng; Guan, Chenghua.

In: Perspectives in Public Health, Vol. 138, No. 2, 01.03.2018, p. 111-121.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

An, Ruopeng ; Zhang, Sheng ; Ji, Mengmeng ; Guan, Chenghua. / Impact of ambient air pollution on physical activity among adults : a systematic review and meta-analysis. In: Perspectives in Public Health. 2018 ; Vol. 138, No. 2. pp. 111-121.
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