Does the Change in Weather Affect Our Health?

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.


7 thoughts on “Does the Change in Weather Affect Our Health?

  1. Alexander Nicholas Cautela

    Really interesting article! My grandmothers always told me that going outside in the cold can make you sick, but I never believed that…the only sickness you can develop by being outside in the cold is hypothermia. An interesting area you could explore is how seasonal change affects mental health. We’re well aware of the “winter depression” that sets in during this time of year, and I’m curious as to why that occurs. My guess is that the absence of warm weather contributes to lethargic behavior and causes people to become more introverted and feel isolated as we are always inside. Here is an article from the Mayo clinic that discusses seasonal affective disorder Let me know what you think!

  2. jgb5274

    This blog post is interesting because I always thought it was the temperature change that directly led me to getting sick every fall. I still believe that season changes can expose you to sicknesses but there are a lot of factors that cause it. Also, when the seasons change so quickly (especially here in State College) people don’t know how to dress properly, which could lead to too much exposure to the cold making us sick.

  3. Zachary Cope

    Great post on a great topic. I can definitely relate to this topic because it seems every year right around when summer comes to a close and fall begins to pick up, I start to get a cold and continually cough. I know that this could be due to many reasons, but I’ve always figured it was the change in seasons affecting my body on some level due to temperature change. It’s nice to know that you have found evidence disregarding that hypothesis, but I’m still convinced that temperature does still have some effect on a human’s body resulting in sickness. After reading up on an article about seasonal change and sickness, I learned that temperature changes aren’t the direct cause of why people are more inclined to get sick during these periods, however it is because of the temperature changes that allow different groups of viruses to spread and advance throughout the community. Here’s an article explaining more about this theory:

  4. Jessy Severino

    You definitely picked a great topic. I have always been one of those people that thinks that when the weather changes its usually what gets us sick. Reading your blog I learned that it isn’t the case. I looked around online because I’m still not convinced that change in weather and getting sick aren’t correlated I found an article that talks a little about how the change of weather does have some affects on your body.

  5. Olivia Frederickson

    This is definitely a concern for many students especially when the work load starts to become heavy and late nights and early mornings may not be as manageable anymore. I agree, I don’t understand how some people seem to avoid the germs that make everyone else sick even if they are just as exposed. You include some very key information that certainly supports your topic, although you should give more credit and reference to your sources. I was a little confused where all of the different pieces of information was coming from. Also, one more suggestion would be to give some formal, well supported advice that supports your findings at the end of your blog. This article by Dr.Brian Subach, gives insight to an assortment of the possible symptoms that you mention may be the outcome of cold weather especially as it changes. In addition, he gives useful tips to prevent them or lessen their effect. He also gives great tips to help your body adjust to the symptoms. I hope the rest of your blogging goes well!

  6. ljj126

    Really great read! This makes so much sense! It is crazy how the world works and how we are affected by things that we would never consider that would cause us all to get sick. I often get seasonal allergies but they seem to only last a week or so, although I also have seasonal joint pain as well! As I got older, I noticed that ever spring I would get really bad pain in right elbow, directly at the joint. Now for the most part, I attributed the pain to extensive softball practice and simply overusing my arm. It wasn’t until I had stopped playing softball that I noticed that every year, at the same time in the spring, It would hurt once again. A lot like seasonal sickness, you can have the same impact on your joints due to weather. The barometric pressure fluctuates which can cause the pain or even cause migraines!

  7. Summer A Carson

    Hi Alyssa! This post truly gave me some clarity on a topic I did not know much about either. I am glad that I now know that you can not get sick from weather, but it still can affect a person in other ways. You mentioned that certain weather can affect a persons sinus’s and I can recall a specific time that this personally happened to me! I went to the beach last summer and I had a been slightly congested but once I was around the warm salty air my sinus cleared right up! According to the Lung Institute, people have the ability to breathe better around the beach because the salty air helps thin mucus and decrease sinus pressure. I suggest you read up on what the Lung Institute has to say on this topic

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