Meteorologic and Geographic Barriers to Physical Activity in a Workplace Wellness Program

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $117.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $156.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $222.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $296.00

Background: Inclement weather and home environment can act as barriers to physical activity. However, it is unclear if they reduce the activity of persons participating in activity-promoting programs. Methods: Data from a 6-month workplace financial incentives program were used to establish the association between meteorologic (temperature, rain, snow, and wind) and geographic factors (urban/nonurban home location and distance between home and work) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Multivariable models were built to estimate mean weekly minutes of MVPA adjusting for demographic factors, clinical factors, and impulsivity. Results: The 292 participants had a mean age of 38 (SD = 11) years. Eighty-three percent were female and 62% were white. Twenty-nine percent lived within 3 miles of work, and 35% lived in urban areas. Participants who lived more than 3 miles from work averaged 75 [95% confidence interval (CI), 65–84] minutes of weekly MVPA compared with 105 (95% CI, 88–122) minutes for those who lived within 3 miles of work. Urban participants averaged 70 (95% CI, 57–83) minutes of MVPA compared with 91 (95% CI, 80–102) minutes for nonurban participants. Colder temperatures were associated with decreased MVPA, and impulsivity modified the effect. Conclusions: Colder temperatures, greater distance from work, and an urban residence are associated with fewer minutes of MVPA.

Smith, Michl, Katz, and Losina are with the Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Policy and Innovation Evaluation in Orthopaedic Treatments Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. Katz and Losina are also with the Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Katz is also with the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA; and Depts of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Losina (elosina@partners.org) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Bize R, Johnson JA, Plotnikoff RC. Physical activity level and health-related quality of life in the general adult population: a systematic review. Prev Med. 2007;45(6):401415. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.07.017

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Kohl HW 3rd. Physical activity and cardiovascular disease: evidence for a dose response. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(suppl 6):472483; discussion: S493–S474. PubMed doi:10.1097/00005768-200106001-00017

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Jeon CY, Lokken RP, Hu FB, van Dam RM. Physical activity of moderate intensity and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. Diabetes Care. 2007;30(3):744752. PubMed doi:10.2337/dc06-1842

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Pinto Pereira SM, Geoffroy MC, Power C. Depressive symptoms and physical activity during 3 decades in adult life: bidirectional associations in a prospective cohort study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(12):13731380. PubMed doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1240

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012;380(9859):22242260. PubMed doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult participation in aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activities—United States, 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(17):326330.

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Heath GW, Parra DC, Sarmiento OL, et al. Evidence-based intervention in physical activity: lessons from around the world. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):272281. PubMed doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60816-2

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Pratt M, Perez LG, Goenka S, et al. Can population levels of physical activity be increased? Global evidence and experience. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;57(4):356367. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2014.09.002

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Muller-Riemenschneider F, Reinhold T, Nocon M, Willich SN. Long-term effectiveness of interventions promoting physical activity: a systematic review. Prev Med. 2008;47(4):354368. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.07.006

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Bauman AE, Reis RS, Sallis JF, Wells JC, Loos RJ, Martin BW. Correlates of physical activity: why are some people physically active and others not? Lancet. 2012;380(9838):258271. PubMed doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60735-1

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Tate LM, Tsai PF, Landes RD, Rettiganti M, Lefler LL. Temporal discounting rates and their relation to exercise behavior in older adults. Physiol Behav. 2015;152(pt A):295299. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.10.003

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    McAuley E. The role of efficacy cognitions in the prediction of exercise behavior in middle-aged adults. J Behav Med. 1992;15(1):6588. PubMed doi:10.1007/BF00848378

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    McAuley E, Blissmer B. Self-efficacy determinants and consequences of physical activity. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2000;28(2):8588. PubMed

  • 14.

    Tucker P, Gilliland J. The effect of season and weather on physical activity: a systematic review. Public Health. 2007;121(12):909922. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2007.04.009

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Chan CB, Ryan DA. Assessing the effects of weather conditions on physical activity participation using objective measures. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009;6(10):26392654. PubMed doi:10.3390/ijerph6102639

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Chan CB, Ryan DA, Tudor-Locke C. Relationship between objective measures of physical activity and weather: a longitudinal study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2006;3:21. PubMed doi:10.1186/1479-5868-3-21

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Witham MD, Donnan PT, Vadiveloo T, et al. Association of day length and weather conditions with physical activity levels in older community dwelling people. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1):e85331. PubMed doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085331

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    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(5):886890. PubMed doi:10.1093/ageing/afv103

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Klenk J, Buchele G, Rapp K, Franke S, Peter R; ActiFE Study Group. Walking on sunshine: effect of weather conditions on physical activity in older people. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012;66(5):474476. PubMed doi:10.1136/jech.2010.128090

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Panter J, Griffin S, Jones A, Mackett R, Ogilvie D. Correlates of time spent walking and cycling to and from work: baseline results from the commuting and health in Cambridge study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:124. PubMed doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-124

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Hoehner CM, Barlow CE, Allen P, Schootman M. Commuting distance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and metabolic risk. Am J Prev Med. 2012;42(6):571578. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.020

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Strath SJ, Greenwald MJ, Isaacs R, et al. Measured and perceived environmental characteristics are related to accelerometer defined physical activity in older adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012;9:40. PubMed doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-40

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Saelens BE, Sallis JF, Frank LD, et al. Neighborhood environment and psychosocial correlates of adults’ physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(4):637646. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318237fe18

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Barte JC, Wendel-Vos GC. A systematic review of financial incentives for physical activity: the effects on physical activity and related outcomes. Behav Med. 2017;43(2):7990.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Patel MS, Asch DA, Rosin R, et al. Framing financial incentives to increase physical activity among overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(6):385394. PubMed doi:10.7326/M15-1635

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Berwick DM, Murphy JM, Goldman PA, Ware JE Jr, Barsky AJ, Weinstein MC. Performance of a five-item mental health screening test. Med Care. 1991;29(2):169176. PubMed doi:10.1097/00005650-199102000-00008

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Rumpf HJ, Meyer C, Hapke U, John U. Screening for mental health: validity of the MHI-5 using DSM-IV Axis I psychiatric disorders as gold standard. Psychiatry Res. 2001;105(3):243253. PubMed doi:10.1016/S0165-1781(01)00329-8

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Katz JN, Wright EA, Baron JA, Losina E. Development and validation of an index of musculoskeletal functional limitations. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009;10:62. PubMed doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-62

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Dominick GM, Winfree KN, Pohlig RT, Papas MA. Physical activity assessment between consumer- and research-grade accelerometers: a comparative study in free-living conditions. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2016;4(3):e110. PubMed doi:10.2196/mhealth.6281

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Tudor-Locke C, Sisson SB, Collova T, Lee SM, Swan PD. Pedometer-determined step count guidelines for classifying walking intensity in a young ostensibly healthy population. Can J Appl Physiol. 2005;30(6):666676. PubMed doi:10.1139/h05-147

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Marshall SJ, Levy SS, Tudor-Locke CE, et al. Translating physical activity recommendations into a pedometer-based step goal: 3000 steps in 30 minutes. Am J Prev Med. 2009;36(5):410415. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2009.01.021

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    US Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    National Centers for Environmental Information. Quality Controlled Local Climatological Data: Milton Blue Hill Observatory. 2015. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/land-based-station-data/land-based-datasets/quality-controlled-local-climatological-data-qclcd. Accessed September 14, 2015.

    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    The Center for Rural Massachusetts. Rural town listing. 2006. http://www.umass.edu/ruralmass/townlisting.html. Accessed December 13, 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services. Special commission on rural access and improving state-sponsored services in Massachusetts rural communities: report to the great and general court and executive office of the Governor. August 2013. http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/eohhs/rural-services-commission-report.pdf. Accessed December 13, 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    O’Donoghue T, Rabin M. The economics of immediate gratification. J Behav Dec Making. 2000;13(2):233250. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-0771(200004/06)13:2<233::AID-BDM325>3.0.CO;2-U

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 37.

    Rice T. The behavioral economics of health and health care. Annu Rev Public Health. 2013;34:431447. PubMed doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114353

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Volpp KG, Asch DA, Galvin R, Loewenstein G. Redesigning employee health incentives—lessons from behavioral economics. N Engl J Med. 2011;365(5):388390. PubMed doi:10.1056/NEJMp1105966

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 39.

    Kirby KN, Petry NM. Heroin and cocaine abusers have higher discount rates for delayed rewards than alcoholics or non-drug-using controls. Addiction. 2004;99(4):461471. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2003.00669.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Normansell R, Smith J, Victor C, et al. Numbers are not the whole story: a qualitative exploration of barriers and facilitators to increased physical activity in a primary care based walking intervention. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:1272. PubMed doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1272

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    O’shea SD, Taylor NF, Paratz JD. But watch out for the weather: factors affecting adherence to progressive resistance exercise for persons with COPD. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2007;27(3):166174. PubMed doi:10.1097/01.HCR.0000270686.78763.c8

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 42.

    Newman MA, Pettee KK, Storti KL, Richardson CR, Kuller LH, Kriska AM. Monthly variation in physical activity levels in postmenopausal women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(2):322327. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181864c05

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Williams SL, French DP. Theory of planned behaviour variables and objective walking behaviour do not show seasonal variation in a randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:120. PubMed doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-120

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 44.

    Fan JX, Wen M, Kowaleski-Jones L. Rural-urban differences in objective and subjective measures of physical activity: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2006. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014;11:E141. PubMed doi:10.5888/pcd11.140189

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 45.

    Martin SL, Kirkner GJ, Mayo K, Matthews CE, Durstine JL, Hebert JR. Urban, rural, and regional variations in physical activity. J Rural Health. 2005;21(3):239244. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1748-0361.2005.tb00089.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 46.

    Reis JP, Bowles HR, Ainsworth BE, Dubose KD, Smith S, Laditka JN. Nonoccupational physical activity by degree of urbanization and U.S. geographic region. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(12):20932098. PubMed doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000147589.98744.85

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 47.

    Hall SA, Kaufman JS, Ricketts TC. Defining urban and rural areas in U.S. epidemiologic studies. J Urban Health. 2006;83(2):162175. PubMed doi:10.1007/s11524-005-9016-3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 48.

    United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Rural definitions-Massachusetts. 2007. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/DataFiles/53180/25576_MA.pdf?v=39329. Accessed December 13, 2016.

    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 186 175 10
Full Text Views 9 7 1
PDF Downloads 8 5 1