Episode #26 – Paolo Emilio Adami explains how World Athletics has sharpened its focus on air quality data and research as a means of protecting athlete health and performance in the future
Athlete health and wellbeing has become a topic of growing importance in sport, particularly in the fields of mental health and safeguarding. However, one of the factors that has the potential to be truly detrimental to athlete health and performance is being overlooked by most.
Poor air quality is responsible for the deaths of seven million people per year, according to the World Health Organization, with four million of those deaths attributed to outdoor air pollution. Athletes who train outside – particularly in big polluted cities and breathing in a larger amount of air than sedentary people – could be putting themselves at risk.
World Athletics, the international sports federation, has recognised this, and put air quality at the heart of a wide-ranging sustainability strategy that it unveiled earlier this year.
It builds on work already started, with the implementation of air quality monitors within several certified tracks, and a pilot project launched during the 2019 World Relays in Yokohama.
This week our guest is Paolo Emilio Adami, World Athletics’ health and science department medical manager, who is at the heart of this air quality project.
During the episode, Adami explains:
– Why air quality is such an important issue for athletics, and sport in general
– What has bee discovered during initial research projects
– How World Athletics will correlate air quality and athlete performance during future events
Listen to the full episode here: