CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: social distancing for running or cycling

Studies show that the social distancing that we apply to other daily activities such as shopping, of around two metres, is not sufficient for exercise.

Coronavirus Uruguay 2020
Raúl Martínez EFE

In Spain the upcoming holiday weekend is being craved more than normal. The second day in May has been earmarked for further restrictions to be lifted for people of the country, following on the back of the Sunday before for more freedom for children, and all ages will be permitted to go out for a short while to walk or exercise.

The finer details of this new norm are still to be confirmed but one question that people are asking, the same around the rest of world, is how sporting activities can take place as safely as possible. Some studies provide recommendations to avoid infection.

Exercising safely amid Covid-19

Some of these studies come from the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium's largest French-speaking university, and from the Eindhoven Polytechnic, in the Netherlands, and suggest that the social distancing that we apply to other daily activities such as shopping, of around two metres, is insufficient for more physical workouts.

Instead they advise that the space between walkers should be between four and five metres and up to 10 metres between runners and cyclists. It’s also important that when overtaking another person when running or cycling you should take as wide a berth as possible.

In the slip stream increases chances of contagion

The analysis shows that when directly behind someone else doing these activities you are more likely to catch the coronavirus if they have it. Why would this be the case?

The reason is due to the droplets that we expel when coughing, sneezing or, in this case, when sweating. The droplets remain suspended in the air for a while and can infect other people as they walk, run or cycle into the spray. Aim to keep a good distance behind a fellow exerciser, as stated above, and wherever possible, not directly behind them.