By Nick DeMarco
Graduate Student Staff Writer
Dr. Kenneth Rundell, Director of Human Performance Lab and professor of Health Science at Marywood University, recently earned national attention on the Sports Illustrated website, www.sportsillustrated.com, for a study published in Journey of Strength and Conditioning Research on how air pollution affects athletes.
Dr. Rundell and a team of researchers at Marywood’s Human Performance Laboratory studied 15 college hockey players. They biked at maximum speed for six minute increments in levels of increasingly high particulate pollution environments. The hockey players completed two six-minute rides in high pollution in low pollution over three days. A week later, they completed a six-minute ride in high pollution. Three days later, the players did a final ride in high pollution.
In the first three rides (two in low pollution and one in high) the subjects performed the same. But in the second high-pollution test, three days after the first, the amount of work the hockey players got done in six minutes decreased by about 5.5 percent.
In August, www.sportsillustrated.com quoted Dr. Rundell in regards to the high amounts of air pollution present in Beijing, China during the 2008 Olympics. As a member of an appointed group of scientists for the games, RUndell monitored the local and regional pollutants that were present during selected time periods, noting that local pollutants were controlled during the games very well, but regional pollutants seemingly hit a lucky spell as they were low during the Olympic Games.