Researchers enlisted more than 9,000 people who suffer from chronic pain, such as arthritis, back problems and migraines, getting them to log their symptoms on a daily basis using a smartphone app. The app also monitors the weather conditions every hour, enabling the scientists to match the weather to how much pain the people are feeling.
Examining a group of 100 participants in three different cities — Leeds, Norwich and London — the researchers found that as the number of sunny days increased from February to June, the amount of time people experienced severe pain fell. But when there was a period of wet weather in June and fewer hours of sunlight, the level of pain increased once again.
The 18-month project, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, is currently at its halfway stage, but the researchers decided to report their preliminary findings at the British Science Festival.