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Perceptions surrounding the possible interaction between physical activity, pollution and asthma in children and adolescents with and without asthma

Kathryn A. Jordan, Kelly Mackintosh Orcid Logo, Gwyneth A. Davies, Chris J. Griffiths, Paul D. Lewis, Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo

BMC Public Health, Volume: 23, Issue: 1

Swansea University Authors: Kelly Mackintosh Orcid Logo, Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo

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Abstract

A cornerstone of asthma management is maintaining physical activity (PA), but this may lead to increased exposure to, and deeper inhalation of, pollutants. Furthermore, children and adolescents may be more susceptible to the deleterious impacts of such exposures. Despite the recent air quality campa...

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Published in: BMC Public Health
ISSN: 1471-2458
Published: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa64921
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Abstract: A cornerstone of asthma management is maintaining physical activity (PA), but this may lead to increased exposure to, and deeper inhalation of, pollutants. Furthermore, children and adolescents may be more susceptible to the deleterious impacts of such exposures. Despite the recent air quality campaigns and media coverage surrounding the dangers of air pollution to respiratory health, few target children and their understanding of such issues. Using semi structured interviews, understanding of PA, air pollution and their interaction was explored with 25 youth aged 7—17 years. Utilising NVIVO 12 software, an atheoretical, inductive thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes which were subsequently presented as pen profiles with the number of common responses within a theme indicative of its strength. The majority (88%) of youth’s indicated traffic-related air pollution and global manufacturing as key sources of air pollution. Whilst all youths were aware of outdoor pollution, only 52% were aware of indoor air pollutants, of which 62% had asthma. Despite some uncertainty, all youths described pollution in a negative fashion, with 52% linking air pollution to undesirable effects on health, specifically respiratory health. PA in a polluted area was thought to be more dangerous than beneficial by 44%, although 24% suggested the benefits of PA would outweigh any detriment from pollution. Youth are aware of, and potentially compensate for, the interaction between air pollution and PA. Strategies are needed to allow youth to make more informed decisions regarding how to promote PA whilst minimising exposure to air pollution.
Keywords: Air pollution; Asthma; Children; Physical activity
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: The funding for this current study has been granted by the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research.
Issue: 1