Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15272

Title: UK adults exhibit higher step counts in summer compared to winter months
Authors: Hamilton, Sarah L.
Clemes, Stacy A.
Griffiths, Paula L.
Keywords: Ambulatory activity
Seasonal variation
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: © Informa UK Ltd.
Citation: HAMILTON, S.L., CLEMES, S.A. and GRIFFITHS, P.L., 2008. UK adults exhibit higher step counts in summer compared to winter months. Annals of Human Biology, 35 (2), pp. 154-169.
Abstract: Background: Seasonal differences in step counts have been observed in a limited number of studies conducted on US adults. Due to the diverse global climate, assessment and interpretation of seasonal patterns in ambulatory activity may vary between countries, and regionally specific studies are necessary to understand global patterns. Currently, no studies have assessed whether a seasonal trend is present when ambulatory activity is measured objectively in adults living in the UK. Aim: To investigate whether pedometer-determined step counts of adults living in the UK vary between summer and winter. Subjects and methods: Ninety-six adults (52% male, age = 41.0 ± 12.3 years, BMI = 26.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2) completed a within-subject bi-seasonal pedometer study. All participants completed two four-week monitoring periods; one during the summer and one the following winter. The same Yamax SW-200 pedometer was worn throughout waking hours during both seasons, and daily step counts were recorded in an activity log. Intra-individual seasonal changes in mean daily steps were analysed using a paired samples t-test. Results: Summer mean daily step counts (10417 ± 3055 steps/day) were significantly higher than those reported during the winter (9132 ± 2841 steps/day) (p < 0.001). A follow-up study conducted the subsequent summer in a sub-sample (n = 28) reinforced this trend. Summer step counts were significantly higher than winter step counts on all days of the week (p ≤ 0.001). A significant day of the week effect was present in both seasons, with step counts reported on a Sunday being on average 1,500 steps/day lower than those reported Monday through to Saturday. Conclusion: Step counts in the sample of UK adults surveyed decreased significantly in the winter compared to the summer, suggesting future pedometer surveillance studies should capture step counts throughout the year for a non-biased reflection of habitual ambulatory activity. Public health initiatives should target these seasonal differences and opportunities should be provided which encourage individuals to increase their activity levels during the colder, darker months of the year.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/03014460801908058
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15272
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03014460801908058
ISSN: 0301-4460
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

Files associated with this item:

File Description SizeFormat
UK adults exhibit higher step counts in summer compared to winter months - final version.pdfAccepted version174.08 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


SFX Query

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.