The Fallacies of Weather’s Effects on Health and Productivity

It is not uncommon to hear that a patient feels well or ill in relation to changes in barometric pressure.  This is commonly seen in people with arthritic or sinus related illnesses.  However, there seems to be a lot of fallacious information in regards to the effects weather has on one’s mood and efficacy.

For instance, it is a shock to most people to learn that though dark, rainy days are supposed to produce depression and bright, sunny weather to lift clouds of despondency; suicides are actually most frequent in the pleasant weather of June and least frequent in cold dreary days of December.  Studies have that there are 31% more suicides on dry than on wet days, and 21% more on clear days than on days that are partly cloudy.”

Research has also been done in regards to efficiency in factories and in schools and colleges at different seasons of the year.   There is a general impression that cold weather stimulates the circulation and increases the activity of the nervous system.   However, the fall and the spring are the best working periods of the year for all kinds of work.   A study of storms and their stimulating effects shows that change, especially rather sudden change of temperature and barometric pressure, are distinct stimulants.  On the other hand, when the temperature remains more or less constant from day to day, people work and think more slowly.  So every time a storm passes over a region and is followed by cooler weather, people’s efficiency is increased.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

 

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