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Social Distance Should Increase During Exercise, Study Reveals

10:45 April 13, 2020
By: Camryn Cohen

For the past month, millions of Americans have been encouraged to hunker down at home. Although that is the ideal situation to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, we know that it is not entirely realistic. Therefore, people worldwide have been told to practice social distancing when leaving the house. The social distancing standard is to stay at least six feet away from whomever you are interacting with. However, Medium reports that a Belgian-Dutch study has found that this distance is not sufficient.

When you are walking, biking, or running with others, you should actually be 13 to 16 feet apart when walking, 33 feet for running and slow biking, and at least 65 feet apart for intense biking. According to the study, while exercising, "people who sneeze or cough spread droplets with a bigger force, but also people who just breathe will leave particles behind." Professor Bert Blocken says that these particles form a cloud and remain in the air behind a person who is moving forward. If you are following someone too closely, you will pass through this cloud, and the particles can land on your clothing. This naturally increases the risk for contamination. The study recommends that exercising alone may be the safest bet.

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