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.