Weather associations with physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep patterns of Australian adults: a longitudinal study with implications for climate change

Ty Ferguson*, Rachel Curtis, Francois Fraysse, Timothy Olds, Dorothea Dumuid, Wendy Brown, Adrian Esterman, Carol Maher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: 

Weather is a potentially important influence on how time is allocated to sleep, sedentary behaviour and physical activity across the 24-h day. Extremes of weather (very hot, cold, windy or wet) can create undesirable, unsafe outdoor environments for exercise or active transport, impact the comfort of sleeping environments, and increase time indoors. This 13-month prospective cohort study explored associations between weather and 24-h movement behaviour patterns. 

Methods: 

Three hundred sixty-eight adults (mean age 40.2 years, SD 5.9, 56.8% female) from Adelaide, Australia, wore Fitbit Charge 3 activity trackers 24 h a day for 13 months with minute-by-minute data on sleep, sedentary behaviour, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) collected remotely. Daily weather data included temperature, rainfall, wind, cloud and sunshine. Multi-level mixed-effects linear regression analyses (one model per outcome) were used. 

Results:

Ninety thousand eight hundred one days of data were analysed. Sleep was negatively associated with minimum temperature (-12 min/day change across minimum temperature range of 31.2 °C, p = 0.001). Sedentary behaviour was positively associated with minimum temperature (+ 12 min/day, range = 31.2 oC, p = 0.006) and wind speed (+ 10 min/day, range = 36.7 km/h, p< 0.001), and negatively associated with sunshine (-17 min/day, range = 13.9 h, p < 0.001). LPA was positively associated with minimum temperature (+ 11 min/day, range = 31.2 °C, p = 0.002), cloud cover (+ 4 min/day, range = 8 eighths, p = 0.008) and sunshine (+ 17 min/day, range = 13.9 h, p < 0.001), and negatively associated with wind speed (-8 min/day, range = 36.7 km/h, p < 0.001). MVPA was positively associated with sunshine (+ 3 min/day, range = 13.9 h, p < 0.001) and negatively associated with minimum temperature (-13 min/day, range = 31.2 oC, p < 0.001), rainfall (-3 min/day, range = 33.2 mm, p = 0.006) and wind speed (-4 min/day, range = 36.7 km/h, p < 0.001). For maximum temperature, a significant (p < 0.05) curvilinear association was observed with sleep (half-U) and physical activity (inverted-U), where the decrease in sleep duration appeared to slow around 23 °C, LPA peaked at 31 oC and MVPA at 27 °C. Conclusions: Generally, adults tended to be less active and more sedentary during extremes of weather and sleep less as temperatures rise. These findings have the potential to inform the timing and content of positive movement behaviour messaging and interventions. Trial registration: The study was prospectively registered on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (Trial ID: ACTRN12619001430123).

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Weather associations with physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep patterns of Australian adults: a longitudinal study with implications for climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this