Research shows that performing poorly during a sports game not only has a mental cause, but air pollution is also affecting the game. A German institute concluded this, after examining 3,000 football matches between 1999 and 2011.
The researchers suggest that the “results confirm and extend recent evidence on the negative
effects of ambient air pollution on short-run productivity.” During the research they focused the number of passes of a player in relation to air pollution. This has shown that when air pollution exceeded the EU limit of particulate matter (PM10) of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (7% of the races), players underperformed by 16%. Furthermore, even at levels below the standard health norm, the players were affected by air pollution.
According to the researchers: “While the number of passes is not a measure of physical performance per se, it serves as our preferred productivity indicator since it is related to the speed of the game and, importantly, is highly relevant for a team’s success by retaining ball possession and creating scoring opportunities […] Moreover, passes provide a reliable measure, as passing is the essential nature of the game, which limits the role of chance.”
The results show that ‘older’ players were more affected by air pollution than ‘younger’ players. Players over 30 experienced greater negative effects of air pollution. This effect is also present when players have fewer rest days between matches. The position of a player also plays a role. ” Moreover, midfielders’ and defenders’ productivity is particularly affected by pollution, players who are more attached to the game and exert a larger number of passes.”
The researchers suggest the results can be extended to low-skilled workers, in jobs such as construction, social services and agriculture. These workers are often exposed to high air pollution levels and the researchers indicate that these workers can see a similar effects of air pollution in their performance. This is harmful for the economy, since a decline in productivity will cause a drop in economic output.
The results show that less air pollution results in more productivity. It is therefore important to create a clean and healthy working environment for workers. By removing particulates from the air, their performance can increase. VFA Solutions provides air purifiers that remove 99% of the particulates from the air, in order for one to breathe in clean and healthy air. Take a look at our air purifiers or contact us for more information.