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|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|
|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|
|Publisher Link: ||http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03014460801908058|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)|
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