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Using de-identified data from fitness trackers connected with localised weather data to study the impact of extreme temperatures on sleep and activity.

Photo by Angelo CARNIATO on Unsplash

This project combined de-identified data from activity trackers with local weather data to look at activity and sleep levels at different temperatures, to understand one of the potential impacts of climate change on human health.

Adaptation planning by health systems to prepare for the increasingly warming world is only becoming more urgent. To aid this preparation, it is important to understand the potential impact of extreme temperatures on everyday physical activity and sleep, fundamental determinants of physical and mental health.

Infographic showing how weather data and physical activity data were connected for participants, and analysed in different ways.

Our researchers combined the de-identified data of over 90,000 participants and their associated weather data, and found that rising temperatures were associated with increased activity up to 25°C, but did not increase beyond this temperature. Time spent sedentary was 10 minutes per day higher when temperatures rose from 25°C to 30°C, while sleep was around 40 minutes lower at 30°C than at 5°C.

6 graphs, showing how physical activity changed across temperatures, including looking at vigorous physical activity, Sedentary time and Sleep, and at how average daily steps changed across temperatures categorised by gender, age and BMI.

While further research is needed to fully understand how rising temperatures will impact physical activity and sleep, this study uses real-world evidence to help guide climate adaptation planning for health systems, such as physical activity guidelines.

As this paper reaches publication, this permalink will include further details.