A Comparative Study on Physical Fitness Components of Trained and Sedentary Boys of Two Different Air Pollutant Zones of Kolkata with Special Emphasis on Nutritional Status

Author(s): Chatterjee P, Das P, Chowdhury SB and Paul A

Exercising in polluted environment has become a matter of great concern in today’s world. Study was carried out to analyze association between air pollutants levels with physical fitness components of trained and sedentary boys living in two different air pollutant zones of Kolkata and to investigate whether any difference of nutritional status may affect the health status and performance of athletes against pollutants. Ambient air quality data of two monitoring stations at Rabindrabharati (Zone I) and Victoria Memorial (Zone II) was collected from West Bengal Pollution Control Board. Study was conducted on 280 boys, age range 14 to 16 years, living within 3 km radius of two monitoring stations. Sample consisted of 120 footballers and 160 sedentary boys subdivided into two groups from two areas. Selected physical fitness components and nutritional status were measured. Nutritive values (energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin C, β-carotene, vitamin B1) were calculated. Air pollutant's levels were higher at Zone I than Zone II. Physical fitness components were significantly lower (p<0.01) both in footballers and sedentary boys of Zone I than Zone II when nutritional status of subjects were comparable. On the other hand, no significant differences in physical fitness components were observed between two zones when vitamins intake of the subjects of Zone I was significantly higher. Exercising in higher air pollutant zone might have an adverse effect on physical fitness level. However, higher intake of vitamins might have contributed to combat the impact of air pollution and thereby leading to improvement of performance level in both trained and untrained boys.

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