Air quality app helps Utahns determine when it's safe to be outside

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  • Trapped in Utah heber city, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    Remember that the air monitoring they are talking about is for just PM 2.5. There are constituents to that smog !!!

  • JasonH84 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    The problem of whether to expose oneself to pollution through outdoor exercise (or cycling to work for example) has been looked at. This study for example concluded that the benefits of cycling to work outweigh the risks even considering pollution exposure (look up, "Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks? on Pubmed).

    As this reference explains, you're probably inhaling more pollution driving in traffic to work than I am cycling away from traffic. I breathe more air in due to exertion and time, but considering the benefits of exercise, I choose to take this known risk.

    I use the app mentioned in this article and sometimes alter my route home from work (all uphill) late in the day if the PM 2.5 levels are too high. Everyone is different and should make the best decisions they can regarding their health risks. But most people shouldn't avoid exercise even on bad days. Just be smart about it and maximize your benefits by understanding the real risks involved. And get active.