Background It has been shown that meteorological conditions and season affect physical activity (PA) during adolescence. Today, meteorological conditions have never been combined to study their influence on PA level in a single sample of a large adolescent multicountries population. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of meteorological conditions on PA in adolescents from several European countries.
Methods The study included 2024 healthy adolescents aged 12.5–17.4 years who participated in the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence cross-sectional study. Participants wore a uniaxial accelerometer for 7 consecutive days to measure total PA and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in a one-off measurement manner. Comparison of PA according to meteorological conditions was done using linear mixed models.
Results The highest difference of MVPA was observed in boys on free days when comparing the best meteorological conditions versus the worse (ie, +39% with highest temperature, +29% without rainfall, +39% with highest sunlight duration and +21% with highest length of day) and in girls on free days (ie, +26% with highest sunlight duration). This increase in MVPA contributed to a simultaneous increase in total PA when considering the same meteorological condition parameters.
Conclusions Meteorological conditions act as a determinant of PA differentially between boys and girls. PA and MVPA in boys are mainly modified by meteorological conditions on free days whereas PA and MVPA in girls are modified by sunlight duration.
- environmental epidemiology
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Contributors All authors have approved this version for publication. LB is the guarantor of the study. LAM coordinated the HELENA project at the international level. SDH and FG were involved in the design of the HELENA project and locally coordinated the HELENA project. LB organised the fieldwork, collected the data locally, was responsible for regulatory issues and drafted the article. JV organised the physical activity data collection locally. ED carried out the statistical analysis. JM and YM were involved in the interpretation of data and revising the article by providing significant advice and consultation.
Funding This study was supported by the European Community Sixth RTD Framework Programme (Contract FOOD-CT-20056007034). This study was also supported by grants from Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (AP 2008-03806).
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The protocol was approved by the appropriate independent ethics committees of each study centre and written informed consent was obtained from both parents and adolescents.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data are available upon reasonable request. HELENA database in under the responsibility of the HELENA consortium. The coordinator of the HELENA study is LAM (firstname.lastname@example.org).