ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Burn to run in the U.S.A.

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6340, pp. 817-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6340.817-c

Hotter summers in the future will make Americans more reluctant to exercise.

PHOTO: ANTONIOGUILLEM/ISTOCKPHOTO

Our willingness to be physically active in our free time is influenced by weather; common excuses for not exercising are that it is too hot, too cold, or too wet. Obradovich and Fowler analyzed historical meteorological data and exercise surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they developed a model to predict human responses to climate change in the next few decades. The model incorporated variables to compensate for city-specific differences (e.g., infrastructure). It appears that by 2050, climate change might result in physically active person-months increasing by 40, on average, per 1000 individuals. Over the course of this century, Americans could become more physically active in their free time in northern areas of the country, but less active in the summer, especially in southern regions.

Nat. Hum. Behav. 10.1038/s41562-017-0097 (2017).

Navigate This Article