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Climate Conditions and Physical Activity in the United States

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Objective: To identify the influence season and climate have on physical activity among US adults. Methods: Seven weather classifications from 255 weather stations were linked with 355 counties covered by the 2003 BRFSS. Results: The percentage meeting the recommendations for physical activity ranged from 30.9% in Puerto Rico to 60.9% in Montana and significantly varied across seasons: 44.6% in winter, 46.2% in spring, 48.4% in summer, and 45.8% in fall. Counties in the top 25% meeting the recommendations for physical activity had the highest percentage of days with dry moderate conditions. Counties in the bottom 25% had the highest percentage of days with moist tropical conditions. Conclusion: Season and climate significantly influence physical activity in the United States.

Keywords: environmental factors; exercise; health promotion; season; weather

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 2: Public Health Programs, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 3: University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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