The Relationship Between Weather and Objectively Measured Physical Activity Among Individuals With COPD

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Although daily variation in weather impacts physical activity (PA) levels among relatively healthy individuals, it is largely unknown whether this relationship occurs for those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of this study was to examine how daily variation in temperature, rain, and snow is related to objectively measured PA among patients with COPD, and whether demographic or clinical characteristics moderate these relationships.


Patients with COPD completed a questionnaire and wore a pedometer for 7 days at baseline, end of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), and 3 and 9 months after completing PR (28 days in total).


Hierarchal linear modeling showed that daily mean temperature and total daily rainfall, but not snowfall, independently predicted steps/day, controlling for demographic and clinical covariates in 189 patients in PR. Specifically, an increase of 10°C translates into 316 more steps (6.6% of mean steps/day) whereas a rainfall of 10 mm translates to 175 less steps (3.6% of mean steps/day). Furthermore, those with higher income had more steps/day on warmer days.


These results add to converging evidence that weather plays an important role in determining PA among individuals with COPD.

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