Infographic: How Weather Impacts Activity

Data Studies
November 17, 2015

See the infographic that pulls some choice findings from the data study Withings conducted with AccuWeather and find out how weather impacts people’s activity around the world.

AccuWeather, the global leader in weather information, digital media and forecasts with Superior Accuracy™, and Withings, the leader in the connected health revolution, have announced insights of a new study correlating AccuWeather’s comprehensive global weather data with activity levels from Withings’ activity trackers.
To complete this in-depth study, data science teams from both companies examined one year of weather and activity for 24 cities around the globe, analyzing temperature, rainfall and average number of steps by gender, age and city.
See the full data study: Weather Or Not: How Rain And Temperature Impact Activity
“This year-long study with AccuWeather is a great example of how data can help people improve their health,” said Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. “With these key learnings, Withings can become more intelligent at offering better solutions for our users to stay active during any type of weather condition.”
The study demonstrates the expansive impact of weather on physical activity across different cities around the world.
“This is a great example of how our best-in-class weather data can be combined with partner data to uncover unique insights around how weather affects our users’ everyday lives,” David Mitchell, AccuWeather vice president of emerging platforms, said. “AccuWeather’s goal is to take advantage of the growing amount of sensor data available through wearable activity trackers, and other connected devices, to create a more personalized weather forecast for users.”
Preferred temperatures for outdoor activity were found to range between 60 and 69 F; however, some cities preferred higher temperatures, including São Paulo where people prefer walking with temperatures ranging from 90 to 99 F.
In San Antonio, where the preferred temperature range is 80 to 89 F, Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs NBA team said, “I’ll walk my dogs and play with them in any weather, but it’s easy to see how people take fewer steps here when it heats up. San Antonio isn’t like New York City, where walking is a way of life. When it gets really hot, even I change my schedule and walk my dogs in the early morning or late at night.”
Men were found to be more sensitive to cold than women in the study. Men walk on average 6.9 percent fewer steps when temperatures are below the preferred range. Meanwhile, women walk on average 6.0 percent fewer steps when it is colder.
In terms of precipitation, women walk on average 8.3 percent fewer steps on rainy days compared to 7.0 percent fewer for men.
Men and women weighed in with why rainy weather affects their level of activity.
“Why do I lose steps in the rain?” Best-selling Romance Author Lynn Marie Hulsman pondered. “Because I’m no Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock, that’s why. When one of them is doused by a passing taxi’s tidal wave, they wind up looking cute and vulnerable, hair slicked back, and mascara intact. My post-douse look is not nearly as adorable.”
When asked the same question, Joel Marsh Garland, stage and screen actor perhaps best known for his continuing role as corrections officer Scott O’Neill on “Orange Is the New Black,” said, “L.A. in the rain is 700 percent more dangerous than cliff diving. I’d stay in too.”
Roy Wood Jr., comedian and current ‘Daily Show’ correspondent, has a unique take on why Los Angeles might have a more extreme response to rain as compared to other U.S. cities saying, “When in LA, I just assume the moisture on my windshield is the tears of an actor that didn’t get the part they auditioned for. I’ve contributed to this precipitation in the past.”
Lest we think it’s all about New York and Los Angeles, magician Penn Jillette weighed in on weather in Las Vegas and why people there might have a unique reason for their reactions to weather fluctuations. Jillette says, “I’m from Massachusetts, I’ve had enough of cold and wet to last me forever. Vegans don’t like cold and wet. Gender has very little to do with it, but people who gender self-identify as men stay in and stay still in Vegas when it’s cold out because if they’re going to be exercising they want to have their torsos bared. Why exercise if people can’t see your abs? And people who gender self-identify as women stay in and stay still when it’s wet because we don’t do wet t-shirts without getting paid, baby.”
And chiming in from a much wetter climate, Luke Burbank, radio host and podcaster, who hosts the Portland, Oregon-based syndicated variety show “Live Wire Radio”, and the podcast Too Beautiful to Live, had thoughts on how the weather impacts his activity saying, “Hailing from the Northwest, where they pretty much invented crummy weather, early fall is spent planning how you are going to stay active once the region turns into the grey sadness of a Morrissey song. For me this year, it involved buying new rain boots, and then getting orthotic insoles made for them, plotting my ‘rainy’ walking route so it passed under as much tree cover as possible, and finally separating the weak and old towels from the bathroom for use as Dog Drying Tools upon our return. Exhausted from all the prep, I promptly took a nap.”
See the full infographic below:
weather infographic data
Like the infographic but love diving into data for more insights? See the full results of the data study on weather and activity conducted by Withings and AccuWeather.
Illustration by Jesse Willmon