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Cathleen D. Zick

Background:

Extending Daylight Savings Time (DST) has been identified as a policy intervention that may encourage physical activity. However, there has been little research on the question of if DST encourages adults to be more physically active.

Methods:

Data from residents of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah ages 18–64 who participated in the 2003–2009 American Time Use Survey are used to assess whether DST is associated with increased time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The analysis capitalizes on the natural experiment created because Arizona does not observe DST.

Results:

Both bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate that shifting 1 hour of daylight from morning to evening does not impact MVPA of Americans living in the southwest.

Conclusions:

While DST may affect the choices people make about the timing and location of their sports/recreational activities, the potential for DST to serve as a broad-based intervention that encourages greater sports/recreation participation is not supported by this analysis. Whether this null effect would persist in other climate situations is an open question.

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Anna Goodman, James Paskins and Roger Mackett

Background:

Children in primary school are more physically active in the spring/summer. Little is known about the relative contributions of day length and weather, however, or about the underlying behavioral mediators.

Methods:

325 British children aged 8 to 11 wore accelerometers as an objective measure of physical activity, measured in terms of mean activity counts. Children simultaneously completed diaries in which we identified episodes of out-of-home play, structured sports, and active travel. Our main exposure measures were day length, temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, and wind speed.

Results:

Overall physical activity was higher on long days (≥ 14 hours daylight), but there was no difference between short (< 9.5 hours) and medium days (10.2–12.6 hours). The effect of long day length was largest between 5 PM and 8 PM, and persisted after adjusting for rainfall, cloud cover, and wind. Up to half this effect was explained by a greater duration and intensity of out-of-home play on long days; structured sports and active travel were less affected by day length.

Conclusions:

At least above a certain threshold, longer afternoon/evening daylight may have a causal role in increasing child physical activity. This strengthens the public health arguments for daylight saving measures such as those recently under consideration in Britain.

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Joe Feinglass, Jungwha Lee, Pamela Semanik, Jing Song, Dorothy Dunlop and Rowland Chang

Background:

This study analyzes Chicago-area weather effects on objectively measured physical activity over a 3-year period among a cohort of 241 participants in an on-going arthritis physical activity trial.

Methods:

Uniaxial accelerometer counts and interview data were analyzed for up to 6 weekly study waves involving 4823 days of wear. The effects of temperature, rainfall, snowfall and daylight hours were analyzed after controlling for participant characteristics, day of the week, and daily accelerometer wear hours in a mixed effects linear regression model.

Results:

Daylight hours, mean daily temperature < 20 or ≥ 75 degrees, and light or heavy rainfall (but not snowfall) were all significantly associated with lower physical activity after controlling for the significant effects of weekends, accelerometer wear hours, age, sex, type of arthritis, employment, Hispanic ethnicity, obesity, and SF36 physical and mental health scores.

Conclusions:

The cumulative effects of weather are reflected in a 38.3% mean monthly difference in daily counts between November and June, reflecting over 3 additional hours of sedentary time. Physical activity promotion programs for older persons with chronic conditions need lifestyle physical activity plans adapted to weather extremes.

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Deborah Cohen, Molly Scott, Frank Zhen Wang, Thomas L. McKenzie and Dwayne Porter

Building design and grounds might contribute to physical activity, and youth spend much of their daylight hours at school. We examined the associations among school building footprints, the size of school grounds, and in-school physical activity of 1566 sixth-grade girls from medium to large middle schools enrolled in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). The school building footprint and the number of active outdoor amenities were associated with physical activity among adolescent girls. On average, the school footprint size accounted for 4% of all light physical activity and 16% of all MET-weight moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MW-MVPA) during school hours. Active outdoor amenities accounted for 29% of all MW-MVPA during school. School design appears to be associated with physical activity, but it is likely that programming (eg, physical education, intramurals, club sports), social factors, and school siting are more important determinants of total physical activity.

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Ryan A. Burchfield, Eugene C. Fitzhugh and David R. Bassett

Purpose:

To study the association between weather-related measures and objectively measured trail use across 3 seasons.

Background:

Weather has been reported as a barrier to outdoor physical activity (PA), but previous studies have explained only a small amount of the variance in PA using weather-related measures.

Methods:

The dependent variable of this study was trail use measured as mean hourly trail counts by an infrared trail counter located on a greenway. Each trail count represents 1 person breaking the infrared beam of the trail counter. Two sources of weather-related measures were obtained by a site-specific weather station and a public domain weather source.

Results:

Temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation were significantly correlated with trail counts recorded during daylight hours. More precise hourly weather-related measures explained 42% of the variance in trail counts, regardless of the weather data source with temperature alone explaining 18% of the variance in trail counts. After controlling for all seasonal and weekly factors, every 1°F increase in temperature was associated with an increase of 1.1 trail counts/hr up to 76°F, at which point trail use began to slightly decrease.

Conclusion:

Weather-related factors have a moderate association with trail use along an urban greenway.

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Richard Larouche, Emily F. Mire, Kevin Belanger, Tiago V. Barreira, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Mikael Fogelholm, Gang Hu, Estelle V. Lambert, Carol Maher, José Maia, Tim Olds, Vincent Onywera, Olga L. Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Mark S. Tremblay and For the ISCOLE Research Group

variables such as gender ( 18 , 37 ), parental education ( 37 ), access to PA facilities in the neighborhood ( 32 ), weather and season ( 28 , 41 ), and daylight hours ( 16 ). Furthermore, a recent study reported that children spent more time outdoors if their mother had a positive perception of her

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Lara A. Carlson, Kaylee M. Pobocik, Michael A. Lawrence, Daniel A. Brazeau and Alexander J. Koch

secretion naturally varies throughout the day, with light exposure being the most prominent stimulus affecting its release. Increases in the release of melatonin as daylight recedes prepare the body for sleep, 11 whereas exposure to light is known to have a suppressing effect on melatonin. 6 – 8 In

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Christina M. Patch, Caterina G. Roman, Terry L. Conway, Ralph B. Taylor, Kavita A. Gavand, Brian E. Saelens, Marc A. Adams, Kelli L. Cain, Jessa K. Engelberg, Lauren Mayes, Scott C. Roesch and James F. Sallis

: Measures taken to decrease exposure to crime. Changing when, where, or what you are doing to avoid encountering crime. Four scales. Sample items below. 1 = never . . . 4 = often Adapted from Refs. 45 , 56 , 57  • Avoidant behaviors, daylight, alone 5 items; mean. “In the past 12 months, how often have

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Matthew Pearce, David H. Saunders, Peter Allison and Anthony P. Turner

status was determined using international standard definitions. 21 One school preferred that their pupils not have height and weight measured. Age, sex, ethnicity, and postcode were reported with the help of a parent/guardian. Minutes of daylight were determined using standard tables. 22 The Scottish

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Alex V. Rowlands

southeast Australia are more active on average than children in the United States and western Europe, but also more active given the weather conditions they experience ( 14 ); and shifting the clocks forward in Europe and Australia, and consequently having more evening daylight, could potentially increase