Understanding periods of the year associated with higher risk for falling and less physical activity may guide fall prevention and activity promotion for older adults. We examined the relationship between weather and seasons on falls and physical activity in a three-year cohort of older adults with glaucoma. Participants recorded falls information via monthly calendars and participated in four one-week accelerometer trials (baseline and per study year). Across 240 participants, there were 406 falls recorded over 7569 person-months, of which 163 were injurious (40%). In separate multivariable regression models incorporating generalized estimating equations, temperature, precipitation, and seasons were not significantly associated with the odds of falling, average daily steps, or average daily active minutes. However, every 10◦ C increase in average daily temperature was associated with 24% higher odds of a fall being injurious, as opposed to non-injurious (p = 0.04). The odds of an injurious fall occurring outdoors, as opposed to indoors, were greater with higher average temperatures (OR per 10◦ C = 1.46, p = 0.03) and with the summer season (OR = 2.69 vs. winter, p = 0.03). Falls and physical activity should be understood as year-round issues for older adults, although the likelihood of injury and the location of fall-related injuries may change with warmer season and temperatures.
- Older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Information Systems
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering