Meteorological Conditions are Associated With Physical Activities Performed in Open-Air Settings

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International Journal of Biometeorology


Meteorological conditions (MC) are believed to modify physical activity. However, studies in this area are limited and none have looked at the associations between MC and physical activity in open-air settings. Therefore, we examined the relationships between MC and physical activities performed on sidewalks/streets and outdoor oval tracks. Observation techniques were used to count individuals walking to school, exercising on oval tracks and walking/jogging/biking on sidewalks/streets. Meteorological conditions were obtained from an Automated Surface Observing System located at a nearby airport for the same time periods physical activities were observed. On weekdays, fewer children were seen walking to school and more bicyclists were observed on sidewalks/streets as wind speed increased (p < 0.05). Ambient and apparent temperatures were positively (p < 0.05) and humidity and barometric pressure negatively (p < 0.005) related to the number of individuals walking on the track. Meteorological conditions were not significantly associated with physical activities observed on weekends. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that apparent temperature (+), barometric pressure (-) and dew point (-) accounted for 58.0% of the variance in the number of walkers on the track. A significant proportion of the variance (>30%) in the number of joggers and the length of time they jogged was accounted for by apparent temperature (+) and dew point (-). We found that meteorological conditions are related to physical activity in open-air settings. The results embellish the context in which environmental-physical activity relationships should be interpreted and provide important information for researchers applying the observation method in open-air settings.



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Exercise, Meteorological conditions, Physical activity