Accelerometer-assessed outdoor physical activity is associated with meteorological conditions among older adults: Cross-sectional results from the OUTDOOR ACTIVE study

Autoři: Birte Marie Albrecht aff001;  Imke Stalling aff001;  Carina Recke aff001;  Karin Bammann aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute for Public Health and Nursing Sciences (IPP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228053



Meteorological conditions are potential determinants of physical activity (PA). A profound understanding of the determinants of PA behaviour is required for PA promotion. This study examined the association between accelerometer-assessed PA and meteorological conditions among older adults.


This cross-sectional study included data of 577 adults aged 65–75 years living in Bremen, Germany (52% female; 3278 days). PA was measured with accelerometers for seven consecutive days (10/15-08/16). A threshold of 240 lx was used to differentiate between outdoor physical activity (OPA) and indoor physical activity (IPA). Linear mixed models estimated the association between PA (daily accelerometer counts per minute (CPM)) and meteorological factors (temperature, cloud cover, wind, and no precipitation) derived by principal component analysis.


The analyses showed associations between PA in CPM and the meteorological factors temperature (93.7; 95%-CL: 64.9, 122.5) and no precipitation (48.4; 95%-CL: 19.8, 77.0) in women and wind (-40.3; 95%-CL: -59.7, -20.8) and no precipitation (30.1; 95%-CL: 5.6, 54.6) in men. After distinguishing in OPA and IPA for a subsample of 128 participants (473 days), the sex differences were no longer present. OPA in CPM was associated with temperature (women: 174.5; 95%-CL: 81.3, 267.6; men: 183.3; 95%-CL: 81.2, 285.4), cloud cover (women: -153.0; 95%-CL: -200.3, -105.7; men: -123.2; 95%-CL: -174.7, -71.7), and wind (women: -118.6; 95%-CL: -189.6; -47.7; men: -96.9; 95%-CL: -177.0, -16.7). No association between OPA and no precipitation was found (women: 2.9; 95%-CL: -89.0, 94.8; men: -17.1; 95%-CL: -116.7, 82.4).


The results of this study emphasize the importance of meteorological conditions as environmental determinants of PA among older adults. Meteorological conditions should be accounted for in the unbiased assessment of habitual PA and the development of PA promotion programs. Future research should focus on the associations of OPA and IPA with meteorological conditions in different climatic regions.

Klíčová slova:

Accelerometers – Body mass index – Clouds – Elderly – Meteorology – Physical activity – Principal component analysis – Wind


1. Peel NM, McClure RJ, Bartlett HP. Behavioral determinants of healthy aging. Am J Prev Med. 2005;28(3):298–304. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.12.002 15766620

2. Sun F, Norman IJ, While AE. Physical activity in older people: a systematic review. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:449. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-449 23648225

3. World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. 2010.

4. Krug S, Jordan S, Mensink GBM, Müters S, Finger J, Lampert T. Physical activity. Results of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (DEGS1). Bundesgesundheitsblatt—Gesundheitsforsch—Gesundheitsschutz. 2013;56:765–71.

5. Bauman AE, Reis RS, Sallis JF, Wells JC, Loos RJF, Martin BW. Correlates of physical activity: why are some people physically active and others not? Lancet. 2012;380:258–71. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60735-1 22818938

6. Sallis JF, Cervero RB, Ascher W, Henderson KA, Kraft MK, Kerr J. An ecological approach to creating active living communities. Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:297–322. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.27.021405.102100 16533119

7. Moran M, Van Cauwenberg J, Hercky-Linnewiel R, Cerin E, Deforche B, Plaut P. Understanding the relationships between the physical environment and physical activity in older adults: a systematic review of qualitative studies. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014;11:79. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-11-79 25034246

8. Amireault S, Baier JM, Spencer JR. Physical activity preferences among older adults: a systematic review. J Aging Phys Act. 2017;27(1):128–39.

9. Klenk J, Büchele G, Rapp K, Frankev S, Peter R. Walking on sunshine: effect of weather conditions on physical activity in older people. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012;66:474–6. doi: 10.1136/jech.2010.128090 21325149

10. Blatteis CM. Age-dependent changes in temperature regulation—a mini review. Gerontology. 2012;58:289–95. doi: 10.1159/000333148 22085834

11. Witham MD, Donnan PT, Vadiveloo T, Sniehotta FF, Crombie IK, Feng Z, et al. Association of day length and weather conditions with physical activity levels in older community dwelling people. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085331 24497925

12. Jones GR, Brandon C, Gill DP. Physical activity levels of community-dwelling older adults are influenced by winter weather variables. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2017;71:28–33. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2017.02.012 28258987

13. Wu Y-T, Luben R, Wareham N, Griffin S, Jones AP. Weather, day length and physical activity in older adults: Cross-sectional results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Norfolk Cohort. PLoS One. 2017;12(5):e0177767. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177767 28562613

14. Aspvik NP, Viken H, Ingebrigtsen JE, Zisko N, Mehus I, Wisløff U, et al. Do weather changes influence physical activity level among older adults?–The Generation 100 study. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0199463. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199463 29979711

15. Hoppmann CA, Lee JCM, Ziegelmann JP, Graf P, Khan KM, Ashe MC. Precipitation and physical activity in older adults: The moderating role of functional mobility and physical activity intentions. Journals Gerontol—Ser B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2017;72(5):792–800.

16. Cepeda M, Koolhaas CM, van Rooij FJA, Tiemeier H, Guxens M, Franco OH, et al. Seasonality of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep in a middle-aged and elderly population: The Rotterdam study. Maturitas. 2018;110:41–50. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2018.01.016 29563034

17. Schepps MA, Shiroma EJ, Kamada M, Harris TB, Lee IM. Day length is associated with physical activity and sedentary behavior among older women. Sci Rep. 2018;8:6602. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25145-w 29700376

18. Timmermans EJ, van der Pas S, Dennison EM, Maggi S, Peter R, Castell MV, et al. The influence of weather conditions on outdoor physical activity among older people with and without osteoarthritis in six European countries. J Phys Act Heal. 2016;13(12):1385–95.

19. Prins RG, van Lenthe FJ. The hour-to-hour influence of weather conditions on walking and cycling among Dutch older adults. Age Ageing. 2015;44:886–90. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv103 26259948

20. Forberger S, Bammann K, Bauer J, Boll S, Bolte G, Brand T, et al. How to tackle key challenges in the promotion of physical activity among older adults (65+): The AEQUIPA network approach. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14:379.

21. Rikli RE, Jones CJ. Senior Fitness Test Manual-2nd Edition. Second edi. Human Kinetics; 2012.

22. Flynn JI, Coe DP, Larsen CA, Rider BC, Conger SA, Bassett DR. Detecting indoor and outdoor environments using the ActiGraph GT3X+ light sensor in children. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2014;46(1):201–6.

23. Deutscher Wetterdienst. Climate Data Center. Accessed 15 Dec 2018.

24. Sunrise and sunset Bremen, Germany [Internet]. [cited 2018 Dec 15]. Available from:

25. Beck HE, Zimmermann NE, McVicar TR, Vergopolan N, Berg A, Wood EF. Present and future Köppen-Geiger climate classification maps at 1-km resolution. Sci Data. 2018;5:180214. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.214 30375988

26. UNESCO. International Standard Classification of Education. ISCED 1997. 1997.

27. Jenkinson C, Wright L, Coulter A. Criterion validity and reliability of the SF-36 in a population sample. Qual Life Res. 1994;3(1):7–12. doi: 10.1007/bf00647843 8142947

28. Dziuban CD, Shirkey EC. When is a correlation matrix appropriate for factor analysis? Psychol Bull. 1974;81(6):358–61.

29. Kaiser HF. The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educ Psychol Meas. 1960;XX(1):141–51.

30. Lohne-Seiler H, Hansen BH, Kolle E, Anderssen SA. Accelerometer-determined physical activity and self-reported health in a population of older adults (65–85 years): a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:284. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-284 24673834

31. Yasunaga A, Park H, Watanabe E, Togo F, Park S, Shepard RJ, et al. Development and evaluation of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Elderly Japanese: The Nakanojo Study. J Aging Phys Act. 2007;15:398–411. doi: 10.1123/japa.15.4.398 18048944

32. Davis MG, Fox KR, Hillsdon M, Sharp DJ, Coulson JC, Thompson JL. Objectively measured physical activity in a diverse sample of older urban UK adults. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2011;43(4):647–54.

33. Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y. Meteorology and the physical activity of the elderly: The Nakanojo Study. Int J Biometeorol. 2005;50:83–9. doi: 10.1007/s00484-005-0277-z 16044348

34. Brandon CA, Gill DP, Speechley M, Gilliland J, Jones GR. Physical activity levels of community-dwelling older adults are influenced by summer weather variables. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009;34:182–90. doi: 10.1139/H09-004 19370048

35. Price AE, Reed JA, Long S, Maslow AL, Hooker SP. The association of natural elements with physical activity intensity during trail use by older adults. J Phys Act Heal. 2012;9:718–23.

36. Halbert J, Crotty M, Weller D, Ahern M, Silagy C. Primary care–based physical activity programs: effectiveness in sedentary older patients with osteoarthritis symptoms. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2001;45:228–34.

37. Yasunaga A, Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Park S, Shephard R, et al. Sex, age, season, and habitual physical activity of older Japanese. J Aging Phys Act. 2008;16:3–13. doi: 10.1123/japa.16.1.3 18212390

38. Sartini C, Morris RW, Whincup PH, Wannamethee SG, Ash S, Lennon L, et al. Association of maximum temperature with sedentary time in older British men. J Phys Act Heal. 2017;14:265–9.

39. Garatachea N, Luque GT, Gallego JG. Physical activity and energy expenditure measurements using accelerometers in older adults. Nutr Hosp. 2010;25(2):224–30. 20449530

Článek vyšel v časopise


2020 Číslo 1