The second week I arrived on campus, I got sick along with the entire State College population. I was sick for about 3 weeks, wondering how can anyone ever be healthy when we’re around so many sick people 24/7? While we may all be passing around this sickness, could we also be getting sick because of the change in weather? I couldn’t help but wonder, does the weather situations and change in weather affect our health? When we first got here, it was extremely hot but now the weather has drastically changed and is fairly cold. People have always said that if you’re out in the rain and cold weather you can in fact catch a cold or going from freezing cold temperatures to extremely heated classrooms is not good for you. I wanted to find out if weather does can affect one’s health (alternative hypothesis) or if weather does not affect your health (null hypothesis).
While i found weather itself cannot make us sick, it can affect our body in different ways. Blood-pressure is said to drop when atmospheric pressure goes up, meaning in the summer, blood-pressure is the lowest. Also, as barometric pressure changes, some people experience more pressure in their sinuses. Warmer weather and the change in seasons increase allergy symptoms in some people. This explains why so many people get have bad allergies in the fall and spring. People who suffer from asthma may also be greatly affected by cold weather in particular because the air that they are breathing in takes longer to become warm. Thunderstorms also allow pollen to be carried with help from the wind, making people with asthma get attacks. Migraines can also be triggered from a quick drop in the temperature, quick humidity increase, and the barometric pressure falling. I am someone who suffers from migraines, but I have never thought that they could be due to the change in seasons. Richard a Director at a health care center in New York noticed that when his patient moved from NY to Arizona, she did not get migraines nearly as much. A survey showed that for 53% of respondents, weather was a trigger for their migraines. Some of these weather changes can trigger migraines.
The graph above shows how as greenhouse gas concentrations increase, it will lead to more extreme temperatures and as this happens, there is an expectance of more deaths and illnesses. Children, and the elderly are the most vulnerable to these changes. The body has a harder time regulating its temperature which leads to more health complications. Whether this prediction is true or not is unknown. It is only a hypothesis: The more extreme temperatures get, the more deaths and illnesses there will be. In this example, the null hypothesis is that extreme temperatures do not affect death and illness and the alternative hypothesis is that extreme temperatures do lead to more deaths and illnesses.
While weather does not evidently make an individual sick, it can affect the human body and health in different ways. You’re not going to catch a cold from going out in cold and rainy weather, and you’re not going to automatically get sick just because the seasons are changing. Even though this may seem the case especially at State College, there are many other confounding variables that play into the reasons why we get sick. It is not proven that weather makes us sick even though it affects all of our bodies in different ways.