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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2019, Article ID 2375474, 9 pages
Research Article

Seasonal Variations in Physical Activity Domains among Rural and Urban Bangladeshis Using a Culturally Relevant Past Year Physical Activity Questionnaire (PYPAQ)

1School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Sydney 2751, Australia
2Department of Epidemiology, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh
3Pothikrit Centre for Health Studies, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

Correspondence should be addressed to Shirin Jahan Mumu; moc.oohay@umumnirihs

Received 11 January 2019; Revised 9 August 2019; Accepted 17 September 2019; Published 13 October 2019

Academic Editor: Pam R. Factor-Litvak

Copyright © 2019 Shirin Jahan Mumu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While the effect of weather and seasons on physical activity (PA) is well documented for leisure-time physical activities in western countries, scant information is available for developing countries where lifestyle PA is the major source of energy expenditure (EE). In Bangladesh, the traditional calendar divides the year to six seasons that last two months each: summer, rainy, autumn, late autumn, winter, and spring. We developed the Past Year Physical Activity Questionnaire to record culturally relevant physical activities and to help assess the seasonal variation in total and domain-specific PA in Bangladesh. We have applied this tool to 162 men and women aged 18–60 years residing in Dhaka city and in the northern rural district of Thakurgaon. Repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA) was used to test for evidence of variation in PA between place and seasons. The age- and gender-adjusted model revealed significantly lower levels of EE in urban residents compared to rural residents across all seasons and domains. We also found evidence of seasonal variations in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) MET-min/weekamong rural participants only; for total PA (ranging from 3192 in autumn to 4124 in winter; p = 0.0001) and for two domains: the occupation domain (ranging from 935 in autumn to 1645 in winter; p = 0.0001) and the leisure time domain(ranging from 229 in late autumn to 272 in rainy season; p = 0.005). Seasonality in gardening was also noted (ranging from 2.46 in late autumn to 29.28 in rainy season; p = 0.0001). There were no seasonal differences of total and domain-specific MVPA in urban except household-related PA. Among rural participants, PA was higher in the summer, rainy, and winter seasons and lower in autumn and late autumn. The most common leisure-time physical activities were walking, bicycling, and swimming with higher participation in the rural area. Leisure-time physical activity needs to be promoted to urban residents all year long but more focused on autumn, late autumn, and spring in rural areas.