This week much of the country is seeing the frostiest temperatures in months: All 50 states hit freezing temperatures yesterday. This can only mean one thing, other than a spike in hot chocolate sales (and spiked-hot-chocolate recipes): We are staying indoors.
Or as public-health researchers would say, "people from a variety of populations perceive inclement weather to be a barrier to physical activity." Studies have shown that people tend to take fewer steps in the rain and wind, and more in the sunshine.
Now Jawbone, purveyor of the activity tracker UP, offers some additional support for this idea, courtesy of its users' wrists. The company recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of UP users' steps each day for a year and correlated them with the weather conditions in their area.
The results show, essentially, that we don't like to move when it's either too hot or too cold.
Weekday Steps Taken by Time and Temperature
The sweet spot for walking around was a temperature between the low 60s and high 70s. Weather effects were far less pronounced on weekdays—probably because people still had to go to work. UP users took 5 percent more steps on a 70-degree weekday than a 40-degree one, but the difference was 15 percent on weekends.