Physical Activity & Air Pollution: Webinar

Our summers are getting hotter and smokier, with wildfire seasons starting earlier and burning for longer. As we continue to feel the effects of climate change, we can expect that hot and smoky conditions will only continue and become more frequent from here on out.

So, what do we do when that affects the way we exercise and the way we enjoy our time outdoors?

What is the best course of action for coaches, activity leaders, event coordinators and childcare staff when outdoor conditions could do more harm than good? What are the alternatives to being active outdoors?

How can organizations support community members in keeping themselves safe while still being active?

In this webinar, our speakers discuss the effects of air pollution exposure on our health, how to keep ourselves safe during wildfire season, ways we can keep active without putting ourselves at risk, and what sport and recreation organizations can do to mitigate people’s exposure to air pollution while keeping physical activity accessible.


Michael Koehle is a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sport & Exercise Medicine and School of Kinesiology, as well as an adjunct professor in the department of Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University and the Director of the Environmental Physiology Laboratory. His expertise is in endurance sports, high-altitude scuba diving and non-musculoskeletal related issues associated with exercise. Dr. Koehle’s research program combines exercise and environmental physiology from basic mechanistic research to more clinical field studies in remote environments.

Sarah Koch is an assistant research professor at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. For her doctoral work at the University of British Columbia, she used controlled laboratory settings to study how physical activity in air pollution affects cardiorespiratory health in adults. Currently, she investigates how physical activity, together with air pollution, ambient heat, and greenspace exposures affect the lungs, heart, vasculature, and kidney, particularly in individuals with respiratory disease.