Advice on exercise in London

Exercise can be great fun and is good for your health. The health benefit of exercise is generally thought to be much greater than the adverse health effects of air pollution.

However, London has some of the highest concentrations of pollutants in the UK, and increased breathing rates during exercise mean a larger dose delivered to the lung. Children in particular are more likely to be affected by air pollution due to relatively higher breathing and metabolic rates as well as a developing lung and immune system.

The time of day and location you choose to exercise can make a large difference to the level of pollution you are exposed to. Cyclists in particular often have to travel along busy roads and unfortunately, there is not a great deal of evidence that pollution masks (worn by some) protect effectively against breathable particles. You can use our website to choose routes that minimise your dose of air pollution.

Pollution levels also can vary hugely from day to day, and it can be hard to tell the difference between a low and high pollution day. You can use our website to find out the current estimated levels anywhere in London using our Nowcast map.

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