Objective: Evaluate effects of local weather conditions on physical activity in early childhood. Methods: Longitudinal prospective cohort study of 372 children, 3 years old at enrollment, drawn from a major US metropolitan community. Accelerometer-measured (RT3) physical activity was collected every 4 months over 5 years and matched with daily weather measures: day length, heating/cooling degrees (degrees mean temperature < 65¡ãF or ≥ 65F, respectively), wind, and precipitation. Mixed regression analyses, adjusted for repeated measures, were used to test the relationship between weather and physical activity. Results: Precipitation and wind speed were negatively associated with total physical activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity (P <.0001). Heating and cooling degrees were negatively associated with total physical activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity and positively associated with inactivity (all P <.0001), independent of age, sex, race, BMI, day length, wind, and precipitation. For every 10 additional heating degrees there was a 5-minute daily reduction in moderatevigorous physical activity. For every additional 10 cooling degrees there was a 17-minute reduction in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Conclusions: Inclement weather (higher/lower temperature, greater wind speed, more rain/snow) is associated with less physical activity in young children. These deleterious effects should be considered when planning physical activity research, interventions, and policies.
- Cooling degree
- Heating degree