Impact of the Environment on Sport

The state of the environment can have significant impacts on sport. Sportsmen and women can be affected by environmental conditions such as air and water quality and exposure to harmful substances. Changes in climate and the loss of natural spaces may make participating in sport more difficult. The impact of the environment and especially of climate change becomes most obvious when looking at winter sports. If global warming affects the mountain snow cover, skiing or snowboarding and other winter sports will no longer be possible.

The following are some of the most common ways in which environmental problems can affect sports.

Common environmental threats to sports:

  • Air pollution : May cause respiratory illness and difficulty in breathing
  • Indoor air quality: Same as above
  • Toxic chemicals: May cause severe physiological reactions
  • Pesticides: Same as above
  • Water pollution/bacteria: Same as above
  • Noise pollution: May cause hearing difficulties and stress
  • Cigarette smoke: Exposure to this will reduce the supply of oxygen to the body
  • Ozone layer depletion: Will increase UV radiation exposure and skin problems including cancer
  • Climate change: Unpredictable and extreme weather patterns may make it difficult to engage in sport
  • Habitat/biodiversity loss: May lead to loss of natural areas to practice sport