Background Limited information exists on hour-by-hour physical activity (PA) patterns among adults aged 45-65 years. Therefore, this study aimed to distinguish typical hour-by-hour PA patterns, and examined which individuals typically adopt certain PA patterns. Methods Accelerometers measured light and moderate-vigorous PA. GIS-data provided proportions of land use within an 800 and 1600m buffer around participant's homes. Latent class analyses were performed to distinguish PA patterns and groups of individuals with similar PA patterns. Results Four PA patterns were identified: a morning light PA pattern, a mid-day moderate-vigorous PA pattern, an overall inactive pattern and an overall active pattern. Groups of individuals with similar PA patterns differed in ethnicity, dog ownership, and the proportion of roads, sports terrain, larger green and blue space within their residential areas. Conclusions Four typical hour-by-hour PA patterns, and three groups of individuals with similar patterns were distinguished. It is this combination that can substantially contribute to the development of more tailored policies and interventions. PA patterns were only to a limited extent associated with personal and residential characteristics, suggesting that other factors such as work time regimes, family life and leisure may also have considerable impact on the distribution of PA throughout the day.