Assessing the effects of weather conditions on physical activity participation using objective measures

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Oct;6(10):2639-54. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6102639. Epub 2009 Oct 12.


Habitual physical activity is an important determinant of health, yet many people are considered to be inactive. Identification of the obstacles to greater participation is necessary for the development of strategies to overcome those obstacles. The weather has been identified as a perceived barrier to participation in physical activity, but exactly which adverse weather conditions are most important, and the extent to which they contribute to decreases in physical activity have rarely been quantified in populations. In the past decade, a small number of studies have used publicly available databases to examine the quantitative effects of weather (e.g., temperature, precipitation, wind) on physical activity in children, adolescents and adults. This review examines our historical, qualitative versus emerging, quantitative understanding of how specific weather conditions affect a population's activity.

Keywords: exercise; physical activity; rain; seasons; snow; weather; winter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Seasons*
  • Weather*