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Health promoting outdoor environments - Associations between green space, and health, health-related quality of life and stress based on a Danish national representative survey

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Abstract

To investigate the associations between green space and health, health-related quality of life and stress, respectively. Data were derived from the 2005 Danish Health Interview Survey and are based on a region-stratified random sample of 21,832 adults. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews followed by a self-administered questionnaire, including the SF-36, which measures eight dimensions of health and the Perceived Stress Scale, which measures self-reported stress. A total of 11,238 respondents completed the interview and returned the questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the association between distance to green space and self-perceived stress. Danes living more than 1 km away from the nearest green space report poorer health and health-related quality of life, i.e. lower mean scores on all eight SF-36 dimensions of health than respondents living closer. Respondents living more than 1 km away from a green space have 1.42 higher odds of experiencing stress than do respondents living less than 300 m from a green space. Respondents not reporting stress are more likely to visit a green space than are respondents reporting stress. Reasons for visiting green spaces differ significantly depending on whether or not respondents experience stress. Respondents reporting stress are likely to use green spaces to reduce stress. An association between distance to a green space and health and health-related quality of life was found. Further, the results indicate awareness among Danes that green spaces may be of importance in managing stress and that green spaces may play an important role as health-promoting environments.

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... Most existing research evaluating the subjective wellbeing implications of urban greenness assesses the effects of urban green space through geographical measurements of residential proximity to green spaces (i.e urban parks) Fleming, 2011, 2014;Fleming et al., 2016;Tsurumi and Managi, 2015) or overall amount of green spaces (i.e vegetation coverage) (Dzhambov et al., 2020). Typically, existing studies suggest that satisfaction levels are positively associated with proximity to urban green space Fleming, 2011, 2014;Fleming et al., 2016;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Tsurumi and Managi, 2015). Other recent work suggests negative or no significant association between urban green space and satisfaction outcomes after controlling for individual and neighbourhood characteristics (Brown et al., 2016;Ma et al., 2018). ...
... The literature that analyses the association between urban greenness and life satisfaction has developed rapidly over the past decades. Most studies have suggested that limited access to green space may adversely affect subjective well-being and other health outcomes (Fleming et al., 2016;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Tsurumi and Managi, 2015;Wu et al., 2020a,b), while others have reported no significant associations (Brown et al., 2016;Ma et al., 2018). Several mechanisms, including restoring capacities, building capacities and reducing exposure to environmental stressors, may explain the linkage between urban greenness exposure and life satisfaction (Markevych et al., 2017). ...
... Our results suggested that residential greenness exposure is positively associated with residents' life satisfaction, after controlling for population density and individual sociodemographic characteristics. This finding confirmed those of previous studies that have only used traditional proximity measures in the US (Kearney, 2006;Kweon et al., 2010) and other developed countries (Fleming et al., 2016;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Tsurumi and Managi, 2015;Zhang et al., 2017). ...
Article
Sensing urban greenness from street view data offers a new and alternative way of measuring the association between greenness exposure and subjective wellbeing in developing countries where traditional census data are poor. This paper focuses on the association between life satisfaction and street-level visible greenness exposure at residential and work locations, using a combination of sensor data and individual cross-sectional survey data (4619 employed respondents) in Beijing, China. We use a single self-reported question ('"how well are you satisfied with your life as a whole"') to measure life satisfaction. Street View Greenness (SVG) is taken as a surrogate for street-level visible greenness exposure at residential and work locations. The results suggest that street-level visible greenness exposure in residential locations is positively associated with perceived satisfaction, though such effects are less significant after considering greenness exposure at work locations. The stratified analysis provides the insight that the associations between street-level visible greenness exposure and life satisfaction vary with individual demographic and socioeconomic characteristics such as sex, age educational attainment and income. Males, young adults, people with low income and educational attainment may benefit more from SVG exposure than other groups. Findings of this study suggest that urban greenness in residential and work environments should simultaneously be taken into the design of land use and public policies aiming to improve people's subjective wellbeing.
... Recent studies indicate that the amount of green space in Tehran should be 35 square meters per person (Amackchi, 1995) whereas current green space capital currently is only 12 square meters. The reduction of green space within cities means that the accessible nature is pushed outside the city limits and this push can have a negative influence on public health and it is known that distance to nature has an influence on frequency of use, where longer distances leads to less frequent use (Grahn & Stigsdotter, 2003;Nielsen & Hansen, 2006;Neuvonen, et al., 2007) A study found a relationship between self-perceived stress and access to green space (Stigsdotter et al., 2010). Evidence shows how the urban nature should be designed to enhance International Journal of Architecture and Urban Development Vol.7, No.2, Spring 2017 people's use of it and that this would help practitioners and politicians develop strategies for building future cities that incorporate health promoting components (Nordh & Østby, 2013). ...
... A sample of the photos was used to study which components have more influence on resting and recovering in parks. Using eye tracking technique explored whether vision could explain the environmental assessments (Nordh, et al,, 2012). To follow up on the previous studies the main objective of this study is to assess what environmental components people think will contribute to the restorative experience of a park in the arid climate of Tehran. ...
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Park design in Iran has followed the traditional European style since the Qajar dynasty. The familiarity of Iranians with the spirit of Persian gardens and the low quality of the newest parks is such that users prefer ancient geometrical Persian gardens. Today, those responsible for the design of urban green spaces lacking examples differing from the traditional and thus they are in need of an adequate set of guidelines for how to design for present conditions, users, and their needs. This research focuses on the relationship between park design components and users' psychological restoration regarding their preferences and perceptions to increase the quality of parks, diminish vandalism, and increase user agency. Psychological restoration is the likeliness that people will be able to rest and recover their ability to focus. A random sample of 100 Tehranian residents was taken by presenting them with images depicting 6 urban parks from around their city. The results were analyzed by grouping into categories: 1-similar activities and 2-by counting and categorizing the individual descriptions of components (frequency of words) contributing to restoration likelihood. Findings showed that the categories mentioned most frequently for high levels of restoration were natural categories including trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, and water. Findings with low levels of restoration and recovery consisted of negative contextual conditions and the absence of nature such as high rise buildings around the parks, lack of trees, and crowds of people. The activities imagined more frequently were playing and other physical activities, social activities, and relaxation.
... Stress is a common problem among urban people, and physiological indicators related to stress can reflect an individual's health status in this regard [1,2]. Forests are widespread natural environments, and walking is an easy mode of exercise. ...
... There were a number of limitations to this study. (1) The vertical structures of the forest walking spaces discussed in this study were limited to the three forest forms on the existing footpath, and more forms were not studied. More detailed vertical indicators, such as plant and branch heights, need further discussion. ...
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Forest walking is a popular, healthy, and light outdoor activity. The potential comprehensive relationships between the vertical structures, thermal comfort, negative air ions (NAI), and human physiological stress in forest walking spaces have not been determined. We performed an experiment in the Baishuihe National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China. Thirty-two college students recruited as subjects completed a forest walk (approximately one kilometer) on the same trail divided into three vertical structure type subsections, namely: A (dense herb and shrub layers with a sparse tree layer), B (dense tree, herb and shrub layers), and C (dense tree and herb layers with a sparse shrub layer). When the subjects passed preset environmental measurement points, staff measured climatic indexes (air temperature, relative humidity, wind velocity, surface temperature and global radiation) and NAI levels, and these data were input into the Rayman model to form a comprehensive thermal comfort index, the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET). PET and NAI differences and dynamic data among the subsections were analyzed. The subjects’ brain waves, heart rates (HRs), and walking speed (S) were digitally recorded. We selected brain wave θ, γ and β-high/α rates, neuroemotional indexes (stress and relaxation) and HR as physiological indicators, and S as an auxiliary indicator. The correlations between PET and NAI with physiological and auxiliary indexes were analyzed. Forest type C showed the lowest PETs and highest NAIs along with the most stable dynamic changes. PET was negatively correlated with HR and positively correlated with γ (12 channels). NAI was positively correlated with S and relaxation and negatively correlated with γ (two channels) and the β-high/α ratio (five channels). These comprehensive relationships suggest that dense tree, sparse shrub, and high-coverage herb layers combined with optimal temporal conditions (before noon or after a light rain) form the best thermal comfort and NAI conditions conducive to reducing human physiological pressures during summer daytime forest walking. These results provide theoretical references for forest walking and spatial regulation.
... The first group of studies [28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38] focused on the health benefits that urban green spaces provide. One study revealed the that urban green spaces in Sheffield (UK) have a beneficial health effect, despite the fact that a causal relationship was difficult to establish [28]. ...
... This effect can be correlated by two further studies carried out in the Netherlands [31,32] as the amount of green space present in the respondents' living environments had a positive relationship with their perceived general health [31], while the annual prevalence rates of 15 of 24 examined disease clusters were lower in areas with more green within a 1 km radius [32]. The research findings of the second study in the Netherlands [32] revealed that the urban green spaces have a more direct positive effect on the health of young children, while the benefits to children with attention deficit disorder were also apparent in a study in the US [33]. Further beneficial effects, especially on residents' well-being were also observed in several studies. ...
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Urban green areas present a lucid example for the harmonious co-existence of the artificial and natural environments best illustrated by their interdependence and interconnection in urban spaces. Urban green areas are essential for the health and wellbeing of citizens. The present study aimed to investigate those multiple benefits for citizens that arise through the existence of urban green areas, as well as important policy dimensions that should be considered when designing the expansion of urban green spaces in urban development. The study was based on a literature review to examine for available evidence on the benefit levels derived by the existence of urban green areas. An extended literature review was followed by a structured review, based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, which partly followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The search was conducted in two databases, and a total of 1674 articles and abstracts were identified through the database searches. After removing 114 duplicates, 1560 records were initially screened based on title and abstract. Following inclusion and exclusion criteria, 14 articles were incorporated in the structured review and a total of 47 in the extended review. The extended literature review identified 33 additional articles examining aspects of benefits that did not fall under the pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria used in the structured review, such as health benefits and other social parameters associated with urban green spaces. The selected studies were allocated in five principal groups according to study types: three of the them consisted of studies employing “willingness to pay” (WTP) methods, five were based on property values, two studies assigned monetary values, while another two assigned CO2 values, and, finally, two studies were based on qualitative criteria. The results indicated benefits to citizens and increased welfare levels gained by the existence of urban green areas. The conducted review revealed a number of findings and recommendations that could direct future research and urban policy. Those hints could assist local authorities as well as stakeholders in order to measure and assess the benefits of green spaces and urban parks and promote measures and programs to assist their further deployment.
... p. 12, which results in a positive response towards natural environments. Research in SRT follows two major strategies: The first looks at long-term effects in cross-sectional surveys, for example comparing people living in more-and less-green neighbourhoods with regard to subjective levels of stress (Nielsen & Hansen, 2007;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Ward Thompson et al., 2016) or ability to cope with stressful life events (van den Berg et al., 2010). The second is experimental and builds on intervention programs that expose subjects to stressful stimuli with and without nature contact and measure acute bio-physiological responses. ...
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Background: Education outside the classroom (EOtC) is considered beneficial to children's physical and mental health. Especially, stress resilience has been linked to nature experience. Aims: This study experimentally explored the effects of pupils' autonomy support (AUT) and physical activity (PA) on their biological stress responses and brain development in EOtC. Sample: The study comprised 48 fifth and sixth graders. Methods: The intervention consisted of one day/week taught in a forest over one school year. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted at the beginning and the end of the school year, functional MRI under a stress condition at the end. Regions of interest were amygdala, hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). All other measures were obtained at the beginning, at mid-term and at the end of the school year. PA was measured using accelerometry. Cortisol levels were obtained three times during the examined school days. AUT was measured with a paper-based survey. Data were analysed using Bayesian multivariate models. Results: EOtC students exhibit more efficient regulation of biological stress-reactivity and show a reduction of cortisol over the day associated with light PA in the forest. Cortisol is further associated with amygdala activation in the stress condition. Cerebral structural change is best explained by age; however, AUT has a positive direct effect on the maturation of the ACC, which is stronger in EOtC. Conclusions: Our results support the idea that autonomy supportive teaching fosters cerebral maturation and that EOtC can have a positive effect on biological stress regulation.
... In the community, adults who lived closer to green space had lower perceived stress, better perceived health and related quality of life (QoL), and were more likely to use green space for relaxation [7]. ...
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Background: Mental health of adolescents have been exposing to risk factors associated with stress from a variety of sources. Previous studies identified that green space exposure might be effective for promoting mental health and reduction of stress. However, previous literature focused on adults, and for those which studied children and adolescents, the effects of planting and similar green activities remain to be explored. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a pioneer school-based program on green space use and satisfaction, and mental wellbeing indicators, among early adolescent students. Methods: This was a feasibility quasi-experiment in which intervention and control groups were studied sequentially. Three secondary schools and 55 grade 7-8 students were sampled conveniently. In the intervention school, the green space program consists of learning hydroponic planting and group practice in creating green areas at school. In the two control schools, the activities consisted of a standardized stress management program including relaxation exercise such as stretching, extension and massage. Both groups learned green diet, tasting and had green living activity, stress awareness games and learned stress coping. The activity schedule for each group (intervention and control) consisted of three one-hour sessions, each was conducted two to three weeks apart. Key outcomes were assessed with questionnaires at baseline and one month after the completion of the activity period as for each school. Data were fit with mixed model applying GEE. Results: At baseline, students were not sure whether they know how to plant herbs or prepare herbal tea. Control group at posttest had lower frequencies of using green facilities in the community and using school gardening facilities in the previous four weeks compared with intervention group and pretest. Females at posttest were associated with higher confidence in planting, and higher level of enjoyment from green activities. Other moderate to small but non-significant effects were also identified. Conclusions: In this study, the school-based green space programme was found feasible for early adolescent students with statistically supported results. Limitations have also been identified and future study with larger scale, more frequent intervention, longer follow-up and RCT design are required.
... Literature indicated that natural green environments could help humans establish a more relaxing lifestyle and improve their states of mind, stress level, and physical activity. Numerous studies showed the evidence of positive mental health outcomes such as stress reduction and emotional stability associated with green space and green environments (28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35)(36)(37)(38). Gardening is an effective mental health intervention for stress reduction (39); a study conducted by Hui (40) stated that visual or physical contact with the green space could improve both mental and psychological well-being in the Hong Kong context. ...
Article
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Background: School-based green space activities have been found to be beneficial to the physical activity level and lifestyle habits of adolescent students. However, their effects on green space use and satisfaction, mental health, and dietary behaviors required further investigation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of school-based hydroponic planting integrated with health promotion activities in improving green space use, competence and satisfaction, healthy lifestyle, mental health, and health-related quality of life (QoL) among early adolescent students in secondary schools. Methods: This study adopted a three-group comparison design (one control and two intervention groups). Secondary school students ( N = 553) of grades 7–9 participated in either ( 1 ) hydroponic planting (two times per week for 8 months) integrated with health promotion activities; ( 2 ) only health promotion activities (one time per week for 6 weeks); or ( 3 ) control group. Outcomes assessed by questionnaire included green space use and satisfaction, life happiness, lifestyle, depressive symptoms, and health-related QoL. Results: After adjusting for sex and school grade, the scores in “green space distance and use” and “green space activity and competence” were significantly better in the intervention groups than in the control group. Hydroponic planting integrated with health promotion activities was also associated with better scores in dietary habits and resistance to substance use. Intervention groups had a higher score in “Green space sense and satisfaction” and life happiness when compared with the control group. Conclusions: Our study shows that the school-based hydroponic planting integrated with health promotion activities were feasible and, to a certain extent, useful to improve green space use and competence, dietary habits, and resistance to substance use among early adolescent students in secondary schools in urban areas. Future studies should address the limitations identified, for example, designing a randomized controlled trial that could fit school schedules to generate new evidence for physical and mental health in adolescent communities.
... This may be problematic, because research has demonstrated that greenspaces play an important role for mental health (Lovell and Maxwell, 2018). For instance, greenspaces may reduce the prevalence of depressive (Roberts et al., 2019) and anxiety disorders (Gascon et al., 2018), and improve indicators of positive mental health such as increased quality of life (Stigsdotter et al., 2010) and life satisfaction (White et al., 2013). ...
Article
Exposure to urban greenspaces promotes a variety of mental health benefits. However, much of the evidence for these benefits is biased towards high-income countries. In contrast, urban areas in low-income settings that have the highest rates of urbanisation remain understudied. Given the increasing burden of mental ill-health associated with urbanisation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), there is a clear need to better understand the role urban greenspaces play in mitigating mental ill-health. Here we use a novel combination of research methods (participatory video, focus groups and the Q-methodology) in a rapidly urbanising low-income city (Kathmandu, Nepal). We explored residents' perspectives on ecosystem services, and the pathways linking greenspaces to mental health. Residents indicated that greenspaces are linked to mental health through pathways such as reducing harm (exposure to air pollution and heat), restoring capacities (attention restoration and stress reduction), building capacities (encouraging physical activity, fostering social cohesion and child development) and causing harm (human – wildlife conflicts, gender discrimination). It is likely that a combination of such pathways triggers mental health impacts. Of all ecosystem services, cultural services such as providing settings for recreation, or intellectual or mental interactions with greenspaces involving analytical, symbolic, spiritual or religious activities were most preferred. Our findings emphasise that cultural ecosystem services provide are a fundamental basic need which all people, including low-income residents, depend on to participate meaningfully in society. Urban greenspaces therefore play a pivotal role in reducing the burden of mental ill-health for low-income residents in LMICs. Greater efforts to increase the quantity, quality and accessibility of greenspaces may help to address current health inequalities in LMICs.
... Pedagogies range from curriculum reform, hands-on, active-learning instruction, and project-oriented/project-based learning in the classroom to field trips (traditional and virtual), personal bioblitzes, and participation in nature-based citizen-science/community-science programs (Pollock et al., 2015;Bonney et al., 2016;Amprazis and Papadopoulou, 2018;Schuttler et al., 2018;Echeverria et al., 2021). Teaching methods that incorporate outdoor activities are particularly attractive as they can encourage creativity, application of knowledge to "real-world" situations, development of social skills and relationships, and improve physical and mental health (Maas et al., 2006;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Becker et al., 2017), in addition to fostering a connection with the natural world. ...
Article
Conservation and education outreach programs often highlight charismatic species or species of economic or ecological importance. However, without appreciable connections to nature, the foundation necessary to empathize with these programs is insufficient. While many students are familiar with charismatic organisms, such as large mammals or sea turtles, there are countless other species of conservation concern that many students are entirely unaware of. As species loss is expedited, it is imperative to counter biodiversity naivety, particularly as public education and awareness are central to successful conservation efforts. The most impactful educational experiences foster direct engagement with biodiversity by students. We highlight the use of project-based learning to nurture student exposure and understanding of biodiversity in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses through the use of iNaturalist. In these courses, students were required to document observations from class field experiences as well as personal explorations. These projects transformed the learning of biodiversity from passive in nature to a meaningful and active process allowing students to connect with species observed while concurrently participating in citizen science initiatives. We share recommendations for successful implementation of iNaturalist projects by educators as well as challenges and issues based on our experiences.
... VGS have also been noted for their thermal insulation properties (Bianco et al., 2017;Wong et al., 2010a), their ability to decrease the urban heat island effect, and their subsequent impact on reducing buildings' energy consumption (Busato et al., 2014;Doick et al., 2014;Wong et al., 2021;Zhang et al., 2014). Additional benefits associated with VGS include reduced noise pollution (Azkorra et al., 2015;Jang et al., 2015;Perez and Perini, 2018;van Renterghem et al., 2015;Wong et al., 2010b), increased aesthetic value of urban areas (Ojamaa, 2015;Wong et al., 2010c), and improved mental health and wellbeing of residences (Farid et al., 2016;Solera Jimenez, 2018;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Wendelboe-Nelson et al., 2019). ...
Article
Urban densification continues to present a unique set of economic and environmental challenges. A growing shortage of green space and infrastructure is intrinsically linked with urban growth and development. With this comes the loss of ecosystem services such as urban heat island effects, reduction of air quality and biodiversity loss. Vertical greenery systems (VGS) offer an adaptive solution to space-constrained areas that are characteristic of dense urban areas, and can potentially improve the sustainability of cities. However, in order to promote VGS uptake, methods are required to enable systematic appraisal of whether existing walls can be retrofitted with VGS. Further, feasibility studies that quantify the potential for retrofit suitability of VGS across entire urban areas are lacking. This study established an evaluation tool for green wall constructability in urban areas and validated the assessment tool by determining the quantity of walls in five major Australian cities that could potentially have VGS incorporated into the existing infrastructure. Each wall was analysed using an exclusionary set of criteria that evaluated and ranked a wall based on its suitability to VGS implementation. Sydney and Brisbane recorded the greatest proportional length of walls suitable for VGS, with 33.74% and 34.12% respectively. Conversely, Perth's urban centre was the least feasible site in which to incorporate VGS, with over 97% of surveyed walls excluded, mainly due to the prevalence of <1 m high fence lines and glazed shopfronts. This study aimed to evaluate feasibility assessments of green wall retrofitability in highly urbanised areas with the intention of creating an analytical method that is accessible to all. This method, coupled with the promising number of feasible walls found in this study, emphasises the need for more government policy and incentives encouraging green wall uptake and could play a pivotal role in the expansion of green infrastructure and urban forestry.
... For the general population, having window views to nature can enhance people's satisfaction with their physical environment and promote their perceived quality of everyday life (Kaplan, 2001;Kuo, Bacaicoa, & Sullivian, 2001). People's presence in a natural setting can reduce their physical discomfort and stress, enhance mood and emotions, and promote the sense of safety and overall well-being (Brook, 2010;Lohr & Pearson Mims, 2000;Stigsdotter et al., 2010), not to mention the various benefits of active engagement with nature, including green exercises, nature-based therapy programs, and horticulture therapy widely used for occupational therapy for patients with mental and stress-related diseases and for rehabilitation purposes (Corazon, Nyed, Sidenius, Poulsen, & Stigsdotter, 2018;Gigliotti, Jarrott, & Yorgason, 2004;Pretty, Peacock, Sellens, & Griffin, 2005;Söderback, Söderström, & Schälander, 2004). ...
... Several studies have highlighted the importance of the distance between home and the nearest park in influencing the attitude toward green spaces [40,[79][80][81][82]. In this study, however, this aspect does not appear to have been such an important factor in influencing attitudes. ...
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Green spaces are defined as open spaces of ground, covered by vegetation, including parks and gardens. This kind of environment is linked to many positive effects and its importance is growing due to increasing urbanization. Understanding what drives people to use green urban space is fundamental to creating appropriate campaigns to develop the use of such spaces and improve the citizens' quality of life. A questionnaire on the attitude towards green space was developed and submitted to people from two Italian regions. Emilia-Romagna and Veneto are two regions in the North of Italy with different territorial policies. Three hundred and ten surveys were collected (167 in Emilia-Romagna and 143 in Veneto). Significant differences were observed between regions, age groups and in relation to the kind of work (p < 0.05). People from Emilia-Roma-gna have higher scores of attitudes towards green space than people from Veneto, underlining the importance of territorial policies. Moreover, younger participants (18-30 years) seem to be less attracted to green urban space. Being an employee seems to influence the attitude towards green space. Particular attention should be given to subjects of the younger age groups and to the number of hours spent at work. This could be an important element for future research, so that political action can be implemented with these categories in mind.
... Green infrastructure also provides multiple environmental and human health cobenefits that extend beyond climate change mitigation and adaptation. Evidence shows that green infrastructure can have positive impacts on the social determinants of health, in addition to supporting physical and psychological human health benefits [19] The mental health benefits of green infrastructure have been demonstrated in the treatment of major depressive disorder and total mood disturbance [35][36][37]. In urban areas, green infrastructure is beneficial in the treatment of mental illness including anxiety, depression, and stress [38][39][40][41]. ...
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The built environment is a physical determinant of health essential to the planning and development of a more equitable society. Communities face growing challenges due to environmental stressors such as climate change, with vulnerable communities experiencing a disproportionate burden of adverse health outcomes. The interdependencies between urban planning and public health outcomes are inextricable, with respect to improving access to healthier built environments for vulnerable and marginalized groups. Widespread implementation of nature-based solutions, such as green infrastructure, provides a multi-functional strategy to support sustainable development, increase climate resilience, enhance ecological connectivity, and create healthier communities. A Health Equity Impact Assessment presents the findings of a participatory research study utilizing key informant interviews of public health unit professionals (eight) and a survey of green infrastructure volunteers and workers (36) on the impact of green infrastructure on individual and community mental and physical well-being, service use, and perceived unmet needs, using Ontario, Canada as a case study. Study findings indicate that where green infrastructure is both productive and publicly accessible, the benefits were significant for vulnerable populations. These benefits include increased social connectivity, skills development, and food security. Green infrastructure could be a viable strategy to address environmental stressors, improve health equity, and support localization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
... Researchers such as Tsai et al. [19] introduced multiple landscape metrics based on GIS and showed a strong association between green space and mental health in U.S. metropolitan areas. These studies assume that the distance from an individual's residence to the nearest green space has associations with health data [3,20]. The green space level was then measured as the fraction of areas with NDVI values above a certain threshold (e.g., 0.2 to 0.4 for sparse vegetation and 0.6 for highly dense vegetation) [21]. ...
Article
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Urban green space is thought to contribute to citizen happiness by promoting physical and mental health. Nevertheless, how urban green space and happiness are related across many countries with different socioeconomic conditions has not been explored. By measuring the urban green space score (UGS) from high-resolution satellite imagery of 90 global cities covering 179,168 km2 and 230 million people in 60 developed countries, we find that the amount of urban green space and GDP are correlated with a nation's happiness level. More specifically, urban green space and GDP are each individually associated with happiness. Yet, only urban green space is related to happiness in the 30 wealthiest countries, whereas GDP alone can explain happiness in the subsequent 30 countries in terms of wealth. We further show that the relationship between urban green space and happiness is mediated by social support and that GDP moderates this relationship. These findings corroborate the importance of maintaining urban green space as a place for social cohesion to support people's happiness. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1140/epjds/s13688-021-00278-7.
... Previous studies have demonstrated the health benefits of the natural environment and urban green space on mental health [1,2], perceived stress [3][4][5], sleep quality [6,7], and cardiovascular and respiratory health [8]. The health benefits of green space in neighborhoods may be due to increased physical activity, reduced air pollution exposure, and relief of stress from work and life [9][10][11][12]. ...
Article
Background: The health benefits of urban green space have been widely reported in the literature; however, the biological mechanisms remain unexplored, and a causal relationship cannot be established between green space exposure and cardiorespiratory health. Objective: Our aim was to conduct a panel study using personal tracking devices to continuously collect individual exposure data from healthy Chinese adults aged 50 to 64 years living in Hong Kong. Methods: A panel of cardiorespiratory biomarkers was tested each week for a period of 5 consecutive weeks. Data on weekly exposure to green space, air pollution, and the physical activities of individual participants were collected by personal tracking devices. The effects of green space exposure measured by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) at buffer zones of 100, 250, and 500 meters on a panel of cardiorespiratory biomarkers were estimated by a generalized linear mixed-effects model, with adjustment for confounding variables of sociodemographic characteristics, exposure to air pollutants and noise, exercise, and nutrient intake. Results: A total of 39 participants (mean age 56.4 years, range 50-63 years) were recruited and followed up for 5 consecutive weeks. After adjustment for sex, income, occupation, physical activities, dietary intake, noise, and air pollution, significant negative associations with the NDVI for the 250-meter buffer zone were found in total cholesterol (–21.6% per IQR increase in NDVI, 95% CI –32.7% to –10.6%), low-density lipoprotein (–14.9%, 95% CI –23.4% to –6.4%), glucose (–11.2%, 95% CI –21.9% to –0.5%), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (–41.3%, 95% CI –81.7% to –0.9%). Similar effect estimates were found for the 100-meter and 250-meter buffer zones. After adjustment for multiple testing, the effect estimates of glucose and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were no longer significant. Conclusions: The health benefits of green space can be found in some metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. Further studies are warranted to establish the causal relationship between green space and cardiorespiratory health.
... technical quality, accessibility in terms of distance, and size) were also raised by the managers and perceived as a critical aspect of quality of UOS. Provision of green spaces is well-known to be critical for human health and well-being Stigsdotter et al., 2010;WHO, 2016). However, densification can shift the focus from publicly accessible UOS to residential land, which might result in an unequal distribution of UOS in cities (Kabisch & Haase, 2014). ...
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This paper reports on how Nordic practise relates to, and perceives contemporary challenges to urban open space management. The study used a case study approach, via interviews. The studied Nordic cities experience the effects of densification in inner city areas. This is often resulting in higher pressure on existing urban open spaces, but also generating new spaces which tend to be small and fragmented, not meeting the many wishes and demands asked for by the diverse user groups. While budgets are sufficiently allocated in new development projects, it is a challenge to withstand the maintenance budgets, forcing managers to prioritise. Due to primary political interest in inner city areas, there is a risk of managers not prioritising the more peripheral areas, from where resources are often transferred to the newly developed areas. This creates a new type of urban nature, primarily in the urban peripheral areas, with increased amounts of biodiversity and higher amounts of multi-functionality, compared to the smaller and more intensively programmed inner-city areas. Urban open space managers are relying on the existing municipal planning tools, and to varying degrees act strategically in terms of developing own sector oriented plans and strategies.
... The inductive content analysis highlighted that ecological regeneration produced significant health benefits in urban populations. Green infrastructure regulates local climate, water, noise and air pollution, all of which have a direct impact on the mental and physical health of those living in cities [34,35]. It could also increase the resilience of the urban population to pandemics (e.g., sars cov-2) by addressing the health co-morbidities (i.e., respiratory, cardiac problems, type II diabetes and obesity) that increase mortality rates amongst those with disease [36]. ...
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If cities could become regenerative and adaptive urban ecosystems, in which resource loops were closed and waste was obsolete, their ecological footprint would diminish. In addition, urban resource security would increase, the health of urban populations would improve and urban greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced. These are the principle goals under-pinning the circular city. Circular cities emerge through the process of circular development. Circular development alters cities’ systems of provision to enable circular practices of inhabitants to develop. This manifests as circular food systems and construction, water and nutrient recycling; adaptive reuse of spaces and pop-up activities; bioremediation of contaminated sites and integration of blue-green infrastructure throughout cities. To transform our cities will require significant investment, political support and public engagement. If the benefits of adopting such an approach can be identified, this will begin to make the case for support. The research presented in this paper draws on an inductive and deductive content analysis of relevant literature and interviews with those implementing circular projects in European cities (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Stockholm). It provides a clear definition of the normative concept of circular development. It creates a framework of benefits which are likely to accrue from adopting this approach. It points to the synergistic benefits emerging from circular development. It also highlights problems around valuation of those benefits, the unintended consequences of circular development and the inequalities in accessing benefits across society.
... Geographic context matters when considering health outcomes. Physical location has been tied to obesity [1,2], stress [3,4], cancer [5,6], stroke [7], dementia [8], and many other health conditions. Complicating matters is that context can be both generalizable and idiosyncratic in terms of contributing to the health outcomes of people whose lives intersect with a particular space at a particular time. ...
Article
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Background The growth of geolocated data has opened the door to a wealth of new research opportunities in the health fields. One avenue of particular interest is the relationship between the spaces where people spend time and their health outcomes. This research model typically intersects individual data collected on a specific cohort with publicly available socioeconomic or environmental aggregate data. In spatial terms: individuals are represented as points on map at a particular time, and context is represented as polygons containing aggregated or modeled data from sampled observations. Uncertainty abounds in these kinds of complex representations. Methods We present four sensitivity analysis approaches that interrogate the stability of spatial and temporal relationships between point and polygon data. Positional accuracy assesses the significance of assigning the point to the correct polygon. Neighborhood size investigates how the size of the context assumed to be relevant impacts observed results. Life course considers the impact of variation in contextual effects over time. Time of day recognizes that most people occupy different spaces throughout the day, and that exposure is not simply a function residential location. We use eight years of point data from a longitudinal study of children living in rural Pennsylvania and North Carolina and eight years of air pollution and population data presented at 0.5 mile (0.805 km) grid cells. We first identify the challenges faced for research attempting to match individual outcomes to contextual effects, then present methods for estimating the effect this uncertainty could introduce into an analysis and finally contextualize these measures as part of a larger framework on uncertainty analysis. Results Spatial and temporal uncertainty is highly variable across the children within our cohort and the population in general. For our test datasets, we find greater uncertainty over the life course than in positional accuracy and neighborhood size. Time of day uncertainty is relatively low for these children. Conclusions Spatial and temporal uncertainty should be considered for each individual in a study since the magnitude can vary considerably across observations. The underlying assumptions driving the source data play an important role in the level of measured uncertainty.
... [26][27][28] Studies are available to support both theories. For instance, living within one mile of green spaces and visiting green spaces have been associated with experiencing less stress, 29 and gardening has been found to reduce levels of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone. 30 In adults, mood, restoration and sustained attention were improved after participating in a nature walk intervention in urban and rural locales. ...
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Objectives Summarise studies of outdoor green space exposure and brain health measures related to Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD), and determine scientific gaps for future research. Design Rapid review of primary research studies. Methods and outcomes PubMed, Embase and Web of Science Core Collection were searched for articles meeting the criteria published on/before 13 February 2020. The review excluded papers not in English, focused on transient states (eg, mental fatigue) or not using individual-level measures of brain health (eg, average school test scores). Brain health measures of interest included cognitive function, clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairment/dementia/ADRD and brain biomarkers such as those from MRI, measures typically associated with ADRD risk and disease progression. Results Twenty-two papers were published from 2012 to 2020, 36% on <18 years old, 32% on 18–64 years old and 59% on ≥65 years old. Sixty-four per cent defined green space based on the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (‘greenness’/healthy vegetation) and 68% focused on cognitive measures of brain health (eg, memory). Seventeen studies (77%) found green space-brain health associations (14 positive, 4 inverse). Greater greenness/green space was positively associated various cognitive domains in 10 studies and with MRI outcomes (regional brain volumes, cortical thickness, amygdala integrity) in three studies. Greater neighbourhood greenness was associated with lower odds/risk of cognitive impairment/ADRD in some studies but increased odds/risk in others (n=4 studies). Conclusions Published studies suggest positive green space-brain health associations across the life course, but the methods and cohorts were limited and heterogeneous. Future research using racially/ethnically and geographically diverse cohorts, life course methods and more specific green space and brain health measures (eg, time spent in green spaces, ADRD biomarkers) will strengthen evidence for causal associations.
... In particular, urban greenery is an important contributor to physical activity and health outcomes (Richardson et al., 2013). Exposure to urban greenery in neighborhoods generates significant health benefits, including reduced mental stress, improved physical health outcomes, and decreased chronic disease risks (Kardan et al., 2015;Stigsdotter et al., 2010). In urban settings, accessible green spaces offer places for urban-dwelling residents to perform exercise or recreational activities. ...
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and related social distancing measures have altered the daily lifestyles of people worldwide. Although studies on this disease are emerging rapidly, less is known about the impacts of COVID-19 and urban greenery on leisure-time physical activity, which is critical to maintain health for urban residents during the pandemic. In this study, we used a natural experimental research design to identify whether urban greenery cushions the decrease in leisure-time physical activity caused by the pandemic and related social distancing measures in a high-density city. The two-wave physical activity data (before and during the pandemic) were collected for urban residents in neighborhoods with high or low levels of greenery. The results of difference-in-differences model suggest that urban greenery mitigated the decrease in physical activity during the pandemic. People who lived in greener neighborhoods experienced a lesser decrease in the leisure-time physical activity level than those who lived in less green neighborhoods. Additionally, people who lived in greener neighborhoods experienced increased levels of physical activity related to visits to country parks during the pandemic. These findings suggest that urban green spaces play a significant role in shaping physical activity and providing a refuge for the public during crises. Our study is among the first to investigate the impact of urban greenery on pandemic-induced changes in leisure-time physical activity in densely populated Asian cities, and our findings shed light on the potential protective role of urban greenery on public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
... The literature shows that physical activity and access to nature are sources of physical and psychological well-being, and have a protective effect against diseases (Berman et al. 2008;Berman et al. 2012;Maller et al. 2006;White at al. 2013). The higher results in rural contexts can be easily explained by the presence of accessible green spaces and natural parks, which counter-balance less provision of sports and physical infrastructure (Stigsdotter et al., 2010). Civil status is always difficult to interpret as the data over ten years present some small changes. ...
... One way participation in outdoor activities may improve mental well-being is through exposure to nature. Spending time in nature provides a range of health and well-being benefits including relief from stress (Bratman et al., 2019;Hartig et al., 2014;Kuo, 2015;Shanahan et al., 2016;Stigsdotter et al., 2010). Time in nature may also contribute to resilience by providing restoration from stress (Hartig et al., 2003), while also alleviating negative health outcomes associated with stress ( Van den Berg et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered daily lives and affected human health and well-being. Outdoor and nature-based activities could potentially mitigate some of these negative impacts. To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on outdoor recreation and subjective well-being, we combined two samples of U.S. adults collected from April 30th - June 15th, 2020 and from August 7th - August 26th, 2020 (total n = 2178) using Qualtrics XM. During the pandemic, participation in outdoor activities declined by 35%, participation in nature-based activities declined by 33%, and subjective well-being declined by 24%. Participation in outdoor activities and nature activities prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic predicted smaller declines in subjective well-being. Results highlight the importance of outdoor recreation for building resilience to changes in subjective well-being before and during global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
... According to other authors, trees also positively influence public health by increasing the quality of air, thus encouraging physical activity of the residents, lowering stress levels and improving social relationships [68]. A study showed that residents of districts with better access to parks and green areas play more sports [69,70], while it has also been proved that a higher number of green areas positively influences the possibility of taking walks in the neighborhood [71], with trees, and access to them, contributing to lower levels of stress [72][73][74][75]. Independent studies showed that women who lived in close proximity of trees (within a 50-metre radius) were less likely to give birth to children with a low birth weight [76,77]. ...
Article
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One of the consequences of the constant urban development in numerous countries is a growing concentration of air pollution, which adversely affects both the environment and people’s health. One of the ways of changing this negative trend is to maintain green areas and trees within cities, as they serve many ecosystem functions, including biological absorption of particles and other types of air pollution. This article provides the findings of a study carried out among the residents of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, in order to assess social awareness of air pollution and the importance of trees. The study of the residents’ awareness was supplemented with the assessment of the parameters of the trees’ capacity for pollution absorption in selected locations performed with the help of the i-Tree Eco tool, which allowed the authors to compare the residents’ impressions on the role of trees in the process of absorption of pollution with their actual potential. The analyses showed that the majority of city residents are concerned with the problem of air in the city, but at the same time failing to notice its negative impact on their health. The majority of respondents were not aware of the role the trees play in the process of pollution absorption, suggesting that there is a real need for raising social awareness of functions served by trees and green areas in urban spaces. The comparison of the city residents’ opinions on the importance of trees in the process of pollution absorption with objective data obtained with the help of i-Tree Eco tool shows that the majority of people’s impressions of pollution absorption by trees in urban areas is correct.
... According to Scopelliti (2019), contact with nature has a positive impact on human health by reducing, according to the theories of attention restoration [3] and stress reduction [4], stress levels [5]. Nature, especially green nature, can play a key role as an environment that promotes health [6] and protects human life from climate disruption [7]. ...
Article
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El Kala is a city on the edge of eastern Algeria, located in an exceptional natural landscape, classified as a world biosphere reserve in 1990 by UNESCO. The diversity of nature within the domestic space leads to research and study its place and value for the inhabitants and encourages to think about how to qualify the relationship between inhabitants and nature through the domestic space. This study is based on a biophilic approach, adapted to the architectural scale, based on a landscape and architectural analysis. The results obtained show that the observed biophilic design is only a means to build a relationship with nature by the inhabitants. The objective of this article is to highlight the contribution of the biophilic approach in determining the behaviour of the inhabitants of the city of El Kala.
... Previous studies have demonstrated the health benefits of the natural environment and urban green space on mental health [1,2], perceived stress [3][4][5], sleep quality [6,7], and cardiovascular and respiratory health [8]. The health benefits of green space in neighborhoods may be due to increased physical activity, reduced air pollution exposure, and relief of stress from work and life [9][10][11][12]. ...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Health benefits of urban green space have been widely reported in literature, but the biological mechanisms remain unexplored and a causal relationship cannot be established between green space exposure and cardiorespiratory health. OBJECTIVE We conducted a panel study using personal tracking devices to continuously collect the individual exposure data in healthy Chinese adults aged 50 to 64 years living in Hong Kong. METHODS A panel of cardiorespiratory biomarkers were tested each week for a period of consecutive five weeks. Weekly exposure to green space, air pollution and physical activities of individual participants was collected by personal tracking devices. The effects of green space exposure measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at the buffer zones of 100-, 250- and 500-meters on a panel of cardiorespiratory biomarkers were estimated by a generalized linear mixed-effects model, with adjustment for confounding variables of sociodemographic characteristics, exposure to air pollutants and noise, exercises and nutrient intakes. RESULTS A total of 39 participants (mean age 56.4 years, range 50-63 years) were recruited and followed up for five consecutive weeks. After adjustment for sex, income, occupation, physical activities, dietary intake, noise and air pollution, significant negative associations with the 250m-buffer NDVI were found in total cholesterol (-21.6% per IQR increase in NDVI, 95% confidence interval (CI) -32.7%, -10.6%), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) (-14.9%, 95% CI -23.4%, -6.4%), glucose (-11.2%, 95% CI -21.9%, -0.5%) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (-41.3%, 95% CI -81.7%, -0.9%). Similar effect estimates were found for the 100m- and 250m-buffer. After adjustment for multiple testing, the effect estimates of glucose and hs-CRP were no longer significant. CONCLUSIONS Health benefits of green space can be found in some metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. Further studies are warranted to establish the causal relationship of green space and cardiorespiratory health. CLINICALTRIAL
... Researchers have tested SRT by measuring physiological indicators of stress (e.g., heart rate, skin conductance, and biomarkers such as salivary cortisol) and self-report measures in contrasting environmental exposure conditions, such as natural vs. urban conditions. There is relatively strong empirical support for SRT in the literature, with findings associating exposure to natural environments with decreased stress (de Vries et al., 2013;Nielsen and Hansen, 2007;Roe et al., 2013;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Grahn and Stigsdotter, 2003), improved affect (Neill et al., 2019;Bratman et al., 2015), and lower rates of depression and anxiety disorders (Maas et al., 2009). ...
Article
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Objectives Chronic stress and burnout are key health issues for office workers that may contribute to a myriad of poor health outcomes. The presence of natural elements may improve psychological well-being in workers but the number of existing studies is relatively low, and more longitudinal research is specifically needed to assess how characteristics of workers’ day-to-day environments may impact mental health outcomes like affect, depression and stress. This report outlines a multi-study investigation of workers at Amazon, a multinational e-commerce company based in Seattle, Washington, USA, and the mental health benefits associated with exposure to nature. Methods In Study 1, participants (n = 153) responded to a cross-sectional survey that assessed the association of self-reported visitation to an indoor company greenspace with psychological well-being including symptoms of depression, anxiety, positive and negative affect, and stress. In Study 2, a subset of participants from Study 1 (n = 33) completed multiple surveys in a 2-week period that assessed the association of the naturalness of their current environments with their state levels of psychological well-being. Results We found contact with more natural outdoor environments was significantly associated with reduced state anxiety, after adjusting for activity type, location, and participants’ trait levels of nature relatedness. Conclusions Findings demonstrate that nature contact in everyday life is significantly associated with decreased levels of state anxiety. More research is needed to investigate the role of nature contact as a potential intervention in the workplace for improved mental health.
... Closing such health gaps is essential in creating healthy cities for everyone (Marmot, 2017) and is a priority of e.g., the Swedish government (Folkhälsomyndigheten, 2019). In this context, a growing body of literature has shown that more greenness close to where people live and better accessibility to green areas are useful for improving human health (Nowak et al., 2006;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;van den Berg et al., 2010;Villeneuve et al., 2012;Ward Thompson et al., 2012;Markevych et al., 2014). Furthermore, such urban green related health benefits have been shown to be effective in tackling health inequalities brought by socio-economic factors (Braubach et al., 2017) and have even been shown to have proportionally larger positive effects on populations from lower socioeconomic groups, which are generally considered at higher risk of poverty-related stress and associated health issues (Mitchell and Popham, 2008). ...
Article
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Rapid economic development and population growth has led to urban densification and massive land use changes, putting pressure on both ecosystems, and people. In this context, public health issues have become crucial for cities to address to ensure they remain livable and healthy for everyone. Since the health challenges of cities tend to manifest themselves differently among different population groups—e.g., groups of higher socioeconomic status tend to be correlated with better health than groups of low socioeconomic status—closing the health gap has become a priority for creating healthy cities for everyone. More greenness close to where people live and better accessibility to green areas has been shown to be useful for improving human health and for tackling health inequalities. This paper aims at developing a method for supporting urban planners and policymakers on where to geographically prioritize investments in green infrastructure to contribute to closing the health gap and promote community resilience through improving public health. Using the City of Stockholm as a pilot, we apply a GIS analysis to identify vulnerable population groups in relation to geotagged empirical human health- and socio-economic data. By then assessing vulnerable populations in relation to population numbers and accessibility to urban green areas, an Urban Green Opportunity Map (UGOM) was created, identifying focus areas where investment in green infrastructure will contribute most to closing the health gap and building community resilience.
... Parks have been shown to give psychological advantages such as stress management, anxiety relief, and restorative experiences, which are especially regarded as "perceived health benefits" for senior citizens [25,14]. As a result, public parks improve overall health by instilling sentiments of pleasure, satisfaction, tranquility, relief, and peacefulness [26,27]. Interestingly, it has been found that walking within a park, especially for old people, helps in managing several chronic diseases that are particularly associated with aging; they also help in relieving mental fatigue [28,29]. ...
Article
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This research aims to identify the various ways public parks are used, which are assessed using multiple tools and methods used in extant literature. In this endeavor, a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of research papers published in the last two decades was conducted. Public parks are mainly used for recreational, social, physical, economic, and ecological purposes. It is observed that various researchers have assessed the recreational, physical, and social uses of parks through direct observations surveys, and mixed-methods approaches. Further, the researchers have assessed the economic and ecological uses by studying the changes in the city dwellers’ quality of life, and their surrounding environment. Interestingly, both the ecological and economical uses of parks seem to have an indirect impact on the users, while recreational, social, and physical uses have a direct impact. The findings also suggest that observations, surveys and mixed methods were indeed the appropriate ways to assess the parks’ usage. The goal is to find an appropriate research direction and strategy for the assessment of uses of parks that may help the city planners/ policy makers to optimize the park uses
... Contact with nature plays a role in psychological (Björk, et al., 2008;Herzog, et al., 2003;Laumann, et al., 2003) and physiological (Bowler, et al., 2010) recovery, restoration from mental fatigue, and stress reduction (de Vries, et al., 2013;Grahn and Stigsdotter, 2003;Morita, et al., 2007;Nielsen and Hansen, 2007;Stigsdotter, et al., 2010;Tyrväinen, et al., 2014). However, while numerous studies have emphasized the effect of nature on stress relief and psychological restoration, the effect of the built environment and architecture on the psychological state of individuals has been less widely addressed. ...
Article
The literature on restoration has paid insufficient attention to the effect of architecture on psychological restoration. The present study investigated the effect of two physical features of tall buildings-height and color-on residents' perceived psychological restoration. Color imaging was used to manipulate the variables. Height and color were each simulated at three levels: tall, medium, and low for height and white, light gray, and dark gray for color, which were paired in different combinations for a total of nine images. Eighty residents of Hamedan, Iran, responded to questions related to the variables of fascination, being away, and restoration likelihood after viewing each image. According to the results, color did not explain restoration likelihood, but the effect of height on restoration likelihood was confirmed. Moreover, the effect of height and color on restoration likelihood was not mediated by being away or fascination. Analysis of the statistical mean of the dependent variable of psychological restoration indicated that, in tall and low buildings , gray colors resulted in higher restoration likelihood, with light gray being more effective than dark gray in the tall building. However, in buildings of medium height, the white color received the highest restoration-likelihood rating.
... One of the drivers behind the soaring popularity of gardening and houseplant cultivation is certainly the growing awareness of the positive impact that these activities may have on mental health and wellbeing. Scientific studies have repeatedly associated interaction with plants contributing to lower levels of anxiety and stress (Hall & Knuth, 2019;Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Suyin Chalmin-Pui et al., 2021), and the connection between plants and a higher quality of life has been eagerly highlighted by numerous news outlets and mainstream media (Baker, 2020;Bovingdon, 2020). Interacting with plants is therefore increasingly considered a practice of mindfulness (Jenkins, 2020). ...
Article
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Plants are indispensable to life on Earth. Securing our future requires protecting plant biodiversity and the development of climate‐resilient crops. Activities fostering public appreciation of plant science, and promoting plant‐related professions, are therefore critical. These efforts can be hindered by plant awareness disparity, manifesting as difficulty in recognizing the presence and importance of plants. However, interest in plants as a hobby and as lifestyle elements has rapidly increased in younger demographics over the last decade. We suggest these topics should be exploited urgently by researchers and educators to increase further the reach of science communication, thereby enhancing societal awareness of botany and stimulating interest in plant‐related degrees and career pathways. Plants are the basis of life on Earth as we know it and the study of plants is essential to protect our future. Yet botany and plant science are in crisis and suffer a low uptake at the level of undergraduate degrees. Increasing science communication about exciting advances in our knowledge of plants and their importance to society may be a strategy to counteract this. Here, we comment on the recent trends in the public perception of plants and explore them using infoveillance tools. Our observations highlight that paradoxically over the last decade public interest in plant‐related topics has increased considerably, with the advent of a new type of social media influencer—‘plantfluencers’. Additionally, recent studies demonstrate that the COVID‐19 pandemic has boosted awareness of the therapeutic value of interacting with plants and their positive effect on human well‐being. We suggest that this offers a window of opportunity to develop an appreciation of plant science among the wider public, who are reconnecting with plants in new ways. Plant‐focused communities and online groups on social media platforms can facilitate engagement with new audiences. In particular, trends relating to houseplants, plant‐based diets and the benefits of interacting with plants on mental health and well‐being together provide an attractive springboard for science outreach and botany‐focused conversations. Here, we discuss these trends and make recommendations for researchers and educators. Plants are indispensable to life on Earth. Securing our future requires protecting plant biodiversity and the development of climate‐resilient crops. Activities fostering public appreciation of plant science, and promoting plant‐related professions, are therefore critical. These efforts can be hindered by plant awareness disparity, manifesting as difficulty in recognizing the presence and importance of plants. However, interest in plants as a hobby and as lifestyle elements has rapidly increased in younger demographics over the last decade. We suggest these topics should be exploited urgently by researchers and educators to increase further the reach of science communication, thereby enhancing societal awareness of botany and stimulating interest in plant‐related degrees and career pathways.
... Through field interviews and observations, this study found that there is a certain correlation between the types of people's activities and the scale of green open space: (1) Daily activities with low-scale requirements, such as walking and jogging, mainly occur in small-scale urban community parks. (2) Influenced by schedules on weekdays and weekends, family leisure activities on weekends mainly take place in suburban ecological parks with high accessibility and open space. (3) Some outdoor activities, such as hiking and climbing, which require larger space and natural environment, as well as less frequency but longer vacation time, mostly take place in national parks with large natural area, for its better environment far away from the urban. ...
... As urbanization continues to expand and deepen, people have less and less access to nature, and face higher-than-normal levels of stress, which can lead to physiological illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as many psychological illnesses [1][2][3]. Studies have found that green spaces can significantly reduce the level of stress and promote physical and mental recovery [4][5][6][7][8], and also can improve people's health condition [9][10][11]. The environment that can provide people with restorative experience is called a restorative environment [12]. ...
Article
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A growing number of studies suggest that the perceived sensory dimensions (PSDs) of green space are associated with stress restoration offered by restorative environment. However, there is little known about PSDs and stress restoration as well as their relationship to forest park. To fill this gap, an on-site questionnaire survey was conducted in three forest parks in Beijing, as a result of which a total number of 432 completed responses were collected and analyzed. The mean values of PSDs were used to represent PSDs of forest park. Using independent sample t-test and ANOVA, this study analyzed the individual characteristics that affected PSDs and stress restoration. Linear mixed model was used to identify the relationship between PSDs and stress restoration of forest park, which took into account the interactions of stress level and PSDs. The results showed that: (1) the perceived degree of PSDs in forest park from strong to weak was Serene, Space, Nature, Rich in species, Prospect, Refuge, Social and Culture, which varied with visitors’ gender, age, level of stress, visit frequency, activity intensity, visit duration and commuting time; (2) in PSDs, Refuge, Serene, Social and Prospect had significantly positive effects on the stress restoration of forest parks (3) there was no significant difference in the effect of the eight PSDs on the stress restoration between different stress groups; (4) stress restoration was influenced by visitors’ gender, age, visit frequency and visit duration. These findings can offer references for managers to improve the health benefits of forest park for visitors, and can enrich the knowledge about PSDs and stress restoration.
... However, most previous studies were based on a crude comparison of natural and built environments, as well as their respective health benefits. In order to effectively guide the planning and design of urban green spaces to achieve such results, scholars have transformed abstract statistical models into theoretical correlation models of "urban green space characteristics-specific health outcome" (11,(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20). This aims to provide a basis for empirical research on the design of green spaces from a health perspective. ...
Article
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As a kind of informal green space more closely related to the built environment, public rooftop gardens (PRGs) are novel green open space and important salutogenic resource for urban residents. It is one of the most easily accessible method for urban residents to be in contact with outdoor or natural elements from the context of high-altitude living. Given its potential health benefits to city dwellers, existing empirical studies are heavily focused on immediate recovery through visually accessing PRGs (through windows), neglecting the possibility of using PRGs physically as a place of interaction. This paper hypothesizes usage patterns will mediate the associations between the environmental characteristics of PRG and users' restoration. This is done through inputting data from 12 typical samples of PRG in Chengdu, China into structural equation model (SEM). Combining the concept of Perceived Sensory Dimensions (PSD) and Perceived Restorativeness Scales (PRS) with the usage patterns of the above samples, this study aims to examine the correlation of environmental characteristics, usage pattern and restoration, in which identify their relative importance in the context of PRGs. Through serials of numerical tests on the model, the study shows that out of the 20 theoretical pathways constructed by the environmental characteristics (x)–usage patterns (m)–restorative effect (y), only 14 forms a significant correlation. In addition, out of all PSDs, social, serene, refuge, space and nature dimensions are induced into restorative effects through four patterns of use: retreat, nature touch, interpersonal interaction and family-bonding activities. The findings also show that social and family-bonding are the most influential independent and mediating variables respectively in achieving restorative effects in the PRG. This study reveals important findings about how usage patterns mediate the association between the PSD and PRS of users. And it also has generated practical implications on how we can design public rooftop gardens from the perspective of restoration, which could potentially be the key to the future survival and development of PRGs in urban environments.
... Nature-based opportunities for recreation (e.g. walking and playing sports in parks and urban green spaces or hiking in the mountains) play an important role in maintaining mental and physical health, as many studies have demonstrated (Stigsdotter et al., 2010;Barton & Pretty, 2010). Measuring the potential benefit of outdoor recreation is an important piece in the Alpine Space puzzle. ...
... Proximity to green spaces, including everything from the surrounding landscape to urban parks and gardens, plays an important role in health promotion. Associations between distance to a green space and health, and health-related qual-ity of life, are found repeatedly, independent of which measure of green space is applied (Mitchell et al., 2011;Stigsdotter et al., 2010). Kyttae et al. (2012) even found that green space was the only urban variable directly connected to children's perceived health. ...
Chapter
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This chapter casts light on how cities can facilitate good health through urban planning, design and organisation, and collaboration between multiple sectors. The way we organise cities is one aspect of the social determinants of health and can manifest or balance several aspects of social injustice. This chapter focuses on matters of planning and maintaining infrastructure, including transportation systems, green spaces and walkability, as well as matters of environmental justice across cities. Moreover, it is discussed how a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach can be implemented at the city level, and in which ways the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Healthy City Network contributes to this work. We take a closer look at the evaluations of HiAP, as well as the Healthy Cities approach, and to what degree they facilitate long-lasting cross-sector collaboration. Last, it is discussed whether and how a salutogenic orientation can link places and environmental resources to health outcomes, and explore the implications of this approach for salutogenic practice and research.
Article
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A maior parte da população atual vive em área urbana, e a rotina nas cidades comumente acarreta problemas de saúde física, mental e emocional, como: estresse, ansiedade, depressão, obesidade, entre outros. Desde que o ser humano passou a habitar a zona urbana, faz-se essencial planejar espaços públicos de acordo com as suas necessidades psicológicas, físicas e sociais. Neste contexto, o presente artigo, tem como questão norteadora: Qual é o papel do neurourbanismo e, consequentemente, da biofilia no planejamento de cidades promotoras de saúde e bem-estar? O objetivo do trabalho é discorrer sobre os princípios teóricos da neurociência aplicada ao urbanismo, os efeitos de elementos urbanos no cérebro do habitante, a estratégia da biofilia como solução urbana e suas diversas formas de aplicação, a fim de promover o bem-estar e a saúde dos usuários. Como metodologia, foi desenvolvida a revisão bibliográfica de conceitos relacionados à neurociência, urbanismo, arquitetura, biofilia e suas aplicações; e a análise de estudos de caso sobre a experiência de indivíduos e o ambiente que os cerca. Como resultado do trabalho, são destacados os efeitos das cidades e da biofilia no cérebro humano, além de apresentar diretrizes a se considerar em projetos urbanos de acordo com o design biofílico e embasados na neurociência. Concluindo, então, na demonstração da importância de sua aplicação para efeitos satisfatórios de promoção de saúde e bem-estar em áreas urbanas.
Article
Background Telomeres are vulnerable to various environmental exposures and lifestyle factors, encompassed in the exposome. Recent research shows that telomere length is substantially determined early in life and that exposures in childhood may have important consequences in setting later life telomere length. Objectives We explore in a child population the associations of 17 exposures with telomere length and longitudinal telomere change. Methods Children (2.8–10.3y at baseline, 51.3% boys) were followed-up for five to seven years. Relative telomere length was measured at baseline and follow-up using quantitative real-time PCR. Exposures and lifestyle factors included: body composition (body mass index and waist circumference), dietary habits (sugar- and fat-rich food intake, vegetables and fruit intake), psychosocial stress (events, emotions, behaviour), sleep duration, physical activity, and residential environmental quality (longterm black carbon, particulate matter exposure, and residential green space). Cross-sectional (n = 182) and longitudinal (n = 150) analyses were assessed using linear regression models, adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status and multiple testing. Results Our longitudinal analyses showed that higher residential green space at baseline was associated with (β = 0.261, p = 0.002) lower telomere attrition and that children with a higher waist circumference at baseline showed a higher telomere attrition (β = −0.287, p = 0.001). These two predictors were confirmed via LASSO variable selection and correction for multiple testing. In addition, children with more unhealthy exposures at baseline had a significantly higher telomere attrition over the follow-up period compared to children with more healthy exposures (β = −0.200, p = 0.017). Discussion Waist circumference and residential green space were identified as predictors associated with telomere attrition in childhood. These results further support the advantages of a healthy lifestyle from early age onwards and the importance of a green environment to promote molecular longevity from childhood onwards.
Thesis
This dissertation aims to improve work conditions in office buildings by implementing vertical greenery systems such as green façades and living walls in semi-arid climates. Since building energy performance is characterized by their electrical systems and thermal exchanges through the building envelope, which is primarily defined by glazing systems in the façades, covering glazed façades with a vegetation layer can play a key role in the energy-saving and thermal comfort of buildings. This research evaluates, through the building simulation method, the influence of green façades in thermal comfort, energy consumption, and the heating and cooling loads of an office building in Denver city with a semi-arid climate condition. Furthermore, the psychological and physical performance of vertical gardens as a nature-based solution and, from the perspective of biophilic cities and philosophy has been assessed through a review of previous studies related to the effect of greenery systems in office buildings. A green façade can also be used as a retrofit option for office building refurbishment. A case study was created as a building model to investigate the influence of green façades and green façade configuration on their performance prediction in semi-arid climates. Additionally, for a better understanding of vertical garden performance in semi-arid regions, simulation case studies in Barcelona with a Mediterranean climate (as articles) and Denver with a semi-arid climate as the context of this dissertation were conducted and their results were compared together. The information generated from the simulation of bare and green façade configurations as a double-skin façade was in- corporated into qualitative theories trying to predict human comfort aspects in the work environment. For balancing energy-saving measures through green façade refurbishment, four qualitative criteria serve as the foundation for occupant psychological and physical comfort, and their impact on productivity has been established. These criteria are: the requirement for appropriate indoor air temperature, indoor air quality, daylight availability for the psychological performance of users, and perceived control over the façade by a vegetation layer in workplaces. Finally, a new concept of vertical gardens was introduced by integrating biology and technology in architecture, which may solve the issue of weather conditions and water scarcity in some climates, such as semi-arid climates, for implementing vertical gardens.
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There is increasing evidence for the restorative and stress-reducing benefits of natural window views and indoor vegetation. However, few studies have investigated associations between the naturalness of window and interior classroom views and students’ well-being and performance in primary schools. The present cross-sectional study investigated associations between the naturalness of window and interior classroom views and primary students’ subjective well-being and actual performance in a standardized attention and concentration test. Well-being was assessed with a written survey, covering students’ satisfaction and comfort in school, ability to concentrate and learn in class, satisfaction with achievements, perceived stress, and social belonging. Attention and concentration were measured with the d2-revision test. Social density, wall color, and degree of classroom decoration were controlled for. Students (n = 785; 8–11 years old; all 4th graders) reported less stress and were more focused on a task in classrooms with more natural window views, i.e., in rooms where more natural elements could be seen outside. Natural interior views, and thus the number of plants in a classroom, were not significantly associated with the tested variables. Children’s nature connectedness (measured as their time spent in nature and on plant care) was positively associated with feelings of comfort and learning satisfaction in school. Time spent in nature was also associated with less perceived stress and fatigue, and with more attentive behavior during lessons. Performance in the d2-revision test was not associated with the naturalness of classroom views, but was lower for children who perceived stress in school.
Article
This conceptual paper explores theoretical linkages between community well-being and key dimensions of public spaces (i.e., physical characteristics, technical experts, and communities). It draws on environmental justice literature and the Tripartite Framework to contextualize the concept of access to public spaces. The nexus between the key dimensions of public spaces and community well-being are explored by drawing on the Network Theory of Wellbeing. The main contribution of this paper is its merging of the aforementioned seminal work (i.e., Tripartite Framework and Network Theory of Wellbeing), two important bodies of scholarship that have yet to intersect but which offer a formidable platform to advance knowledge on how technical (e.g. planners), social (i.e. communities) and physical (e.g. built spaces like parks) dimensions of public space production can contribute to communal benefits derived from a public resource and community well-being. The applicability of the conceptual synthesis is illustrated through the discussion of specific examples in Maryvale.
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The influence of high-density environment on urban residents is controversial, and its effect varies with specific contexts. Meanwhile, urban planners and policy-makers are increasingly aware that urban greenery may mitigate the detrimental effects of crowded environments on quality of life in high-density cities. However, little empirical evidence is available in the context of China. This study aims to examine the complex relationship between urban density, urban greenery, and older people’s life satisfaction, with survey data collected from 1,594 older adults in 129 neighborhoods in Shanghai, China. Urban density was assessed using floor area ratio and building coverage ratio respectively, and urban greenery was measured by street view greenery, greening rate, Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI), and accessibility to nearest parks. Results from structural equation modeling showed that higher urban density was related to lower life satisfaction, and a reduced sense of community was a significant pathway between higher urban density and lower life satisfaction. Furthermore, eye-level greenery cushioned the negative effect of urban density on life satisfaction. Our findings highlighted the necessity of optimizing high-density neighborhood environments and promoting eye-level greenery in high-density urban areas to create aging-friendly cities.
Article
This study examines the relationship between educational awareness and natural disasters through the lens of flood mitigation and also attempts to understand the perceptional and socio-demographical impacts in flood-prone areas. Recorded as one of the most catastrophic storms in the U.S., Hurricane Harvey caused massive damages to the environment and negatively affected public health and well-being. Having sustained three flood events since opening, including Hurricane Harvey, Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston, Texas, became the case study for this research as its role relative to educational awareness and natural disasters became the focus. The study performed a questionnaire-based survey with park users. Findings showed that concerns existed with respect to park use, socio-demographics, and accessibility. The findings also showed, however, that the park design contributed to flood mitigation strategies through establishment of educational awareness of natural disasters. This awareness was confirmed by park users being knowledgeable of some flood protection strategies, including planting native and local plants and curving the bayous naturally. Also, park users noted their preference for receiving disaster-related educational news via social media and partnerships/non-profit organizations. Finally, none of the socio-demographic features showed a difference for the logistic regression model as a significant predictor while attending educational events and residing within twenty minutes of the park significantly increased flood-mitigation awareness. This study highlights several efficient strategies that can complement the role of urban parks relative to how people experience and perceive educational activities concerning natural disasters.
Article
Objective: In this study, we investigate university students to learn about their barriers to improving and/or maintaining a healthy lifestyle and their needs and interests regarding the development of a tailored intervention to promote physical activity and a healthy diet. Participants: The qualitative research included three focus groups consisting of 22 university students.Methods: The interview grid was developed around the variables of the ecological Conceptual Framework of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services. Data were analyzed using NVivo software.Results: Time constraints due to a heavy workload, high costs and low motivation were the reasons students failed to participate in physical activity and/or adopt a healthy diet. Furthermore, they perceived that on-campus food and physical activity are more expensive and the quality of food is poorer.Conclusions: Students are nevertheless interested in the development of a tailored intervention to promote physical activity and a healthy diet.
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A lakhatás az alapvető emberi jogok közé tartozik, ám az nemcsak a fedélhez jutás szükségletét jelenti, hanem minőségi szempontot is, a megfelelő lakhatáshoz (adequate housing) való jogot szintén magában foglalja. Utóbbi – bár konkrét tartalma a földrajzi és szociokulturális különbségekkel együtt változó lehet – a birtoklás zavartalanságát, a megfizethetőséget, a lakhatóságot, az alapvető felszereltséget, valamint az elhelyezkedés szempontjából és kulturális értelemben vett megfelelőséget jelenti. A lakhatási körülmények befolyásolják a jóllétet, a fizikai és mentális egészséget, és így a produktivitást (munkában, oktatásban való részvétel) is. Áttekintő közleményünk célja a lakhatási körülmények és a mentális egészségmutatók összefüggéseinek feltárása, a lakhatással kapcsolatos és a mentális egészségre közvetlen és közvetett hatást gyakorló tényezők leírása nemzetközi szakirodalmi adatok felhasználásával.
Article
There is a growing body of knowledge on the health benefits of green infrastructure (GI) in the built environment. However, the aspects of GI with the most significant positive influence on human health, especially in densely populated cities in sub-Saharan Africa have not been adequately investigated. This study relied on household survey involving 1560 residents to explore the influence of GI on residents' self-perceived health benefits in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria. The data were analysed using descriptive and multiple regression analyses. The findings revealed that around 42% of the respondents had visited green spaces more than any other type of GI, and that this had positive influence on their perceived physical, mental and psychological health and wellbeing. Access to parks; availability of well-equipped green spaces; condition, adequacy and proximity of green areas to residents' emerged as the key aspects with the most significant influence on their perceived health benefits of GI in the neighbourhoods. This study concludes that for urban population to derive maximum health benefits from GI, more attention should be given to issues of accessibility, quantity, quality and location in the provision and management of GI in urban neighbourhoods in Nigeria and beyond.
Article
Green space is considered as the lungs of the city. It has immense health benefits mainly for elderly people. Regular physical activity in green space considerably reduces health risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, paralysis, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Besides, it facilitates social interactions and promotes the sense of community among the citizens, which is very important for health and wellbeing of people, especially for elderly, because they predominantly suffer from the social isolation problem. The data on self-perceived health status have been obtained while surveying the green space users through survey schedule. About 92.65% of elderly sampled of those people who are reportedly affected by any of such diseases or a combination of multiple. Similarly, in Australia 85–90% of diabetes problems was found among the elderly. UGS benefits must be universal and this can be done through the universalization of its accessibility. This paper answers the questions as, Whether or not the health risk of NCD make elderly people necessary for visiting and using the green space? Whether or not the visit and use of park consequences better preconception on NCD related physical and psychological health? What factors restrict and motivate them to visit the green space? What would be the appropriate planning approach for making it available for neighbourhood residents? The paper finally proposes a participatory, bottom-up planning model as a planning toolkit.
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Contributing to Taijiquan studies, this research uses spatial analysis tools in ArcGIS 10.3 and SPSS 23.0 to map out the spatial distributional pattern of the Taijiquan organizations in London, and then explores factors attributing to the spatial distribution of Taijiquan culture. The result shows that the distribution of Taijiquan organizations in London generally presents a spatial distribution structure of “dense center + sparse periphery”; the spatial distribution is unbalanced, showing a cohesive distribution; the directional distribution tends to be obvious in areas that are proximate to urban traffic arteries and afforestation in London. Through multivariate hierarchical regression analysis, the study explores the influential factors for the spatial distribution of Taijiquan organizations in London. The results show that: population size, economic level, and education level have little influence on the spatial distribution of Taijiquan organizations; however, the population density of people over 65 years old, the accessibility of public service facilities such as green spaces, and public urban traffic has a significant impact on the spatial distribution of Taijiquan organizations.
Chapter
Natural elements are found in cities that also occur outside them. What makes their urbanity special, however, is the density of their distribution, the intensity of their use and the variability of their often small-scale structure. The aim in the city is to preserve, re-establish, maintain and develop these natural elements in such a way that they can meet the needs of urban dwellers as far as possible. To this end, the services of urban nature of various kinds should be wisely considered so that they also correspond well to the changing needs of urban dwellers. Many demands on urban nature contradict each other or are only expressed by certain groups of the population. Some cannot be realised at the same time at all (see ► Chap. 7). A formative moderation process is therefore required between the services of urban nature and the needs of the population perceiving these services. First of all, there should be clarity about which services can actually be provided by which urban nature and how they are already being used. That is the subject of this chapter. For a better overview, four frequently occurring, typical urban nature types were considered in a selected manner. They are the main service providers, are also widespread nationally and in part worldwide, and are used most intensively: urban parks, urban forests, urban gardens and urban waters.
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Background The family is a key setting for health promotion. Contemporary health promoting family models can establish scaffolds for shaping health behaviors and can be useful tools for education and health promotion. Objectives The objective of this scoping review is to provide details as to how conceptual and theoretical models of the health promoting potential of the family are being used in health promotion contexts. Design Guided by PRISMA ScR guidelines, we used a three-step search strategy to find relevant papers. This included key-word searching electronic databases (Medline, PSycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL), searching the reference lists of included studies, and intentionally searching for grey literature (in textbooks, dissertations, thesis manuscripts and reports.) Results After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, the overall search generated 113 included manuscripts/chapters with 118 unique models. Through our analysis of these models, three main themes were apparent: 1) ecological factors are central components to most models or conceptual frameworks; 2) models were attentive to cultural and other diversities, allowing room for a wide range of differences across family types, and for different and ever-expanding social norms and roles; and 3) the role of the child as a passive recipient of their health journey rather than as an active agent in promoting their own family health was highlighted as an important gap in many of the identified models. Conclusions This review contributes a synthesis of contemporary literature in this area and supports the priority of ecological frameworks and diversity of family contexts. It encourages researchers, practitioners and family stakeholders to recognize the value of the child as an active agent in shaping the health promoting potential of their family context.
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Argues that evolutionary heritage underlies humans' consistent preference for stimuli from the natural environment and that research on affective and aesthetic responses is needed to understand human interaction with the environment. It is noted that the rapidly expanding empirical record concerning aesthetic and affective responses to natural environments is in need of a well-developed theoretical foundation. An integrated conceptual framework to address this theoretical lack, drawing on recent theory and research on emotion, is proposed. This framework explains how affects arise in the natural environment; postulates their functions; and links them to cognition, activity in physiological systems, and behavior. The present author, in developing the framework, questions the view that feelings result from cognitive processes, asserting that feelings (not thoughts) are the initial response in environmental encounters. The observer's initial feeling reaction shapes subsequent cognitive events. The relative sequence of feeling and thinking in environmental encounters represents a fundamental issue in understanding human interaction with the environment. (98 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We compare people greatly affected by a crisis with those less affected to explore how level of crisis influences their response to experiencing nature. A questionnaire comprising a validated protocol to evaluate frequency of stress conditions, the level of crisis retention, reorientation and rehabilitation potential was answered by 547 individuals. The questionnaire also comprises items on everyday activities. Our findings may be interpreted as follows: experiencing nature has a more powerful influence on the rehabilitation potential of people greatly affected by a crisis; taking a walk also has an influence, although not of equal importance; the social factor has more influence on the rehabilitation potential of people affected by a crisis to a low/moderate degree. Individuals who have many experiences of nature are less affected by their crisis than are those who have few such experiences. We suggest that the rehabilitative effect of nature is tied to its function as an enriched environment. During stays in natural settings, an interaction takes place between sensory stimulation, emotions and logical thought—an interaction that leads to a new orientation and new ways of seeing one's self and one's resources. This seems to largely be a question of how we human beings take in and process information.
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Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses' notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.
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The aim of this population-based study was to investigate associations between recreational values of the close natural environment and neighbourhood satisfaction, physical activity, obesity and wellbeing. Data from a large public health survey distributed as a mailed questionnaire in suburban and rural areas of southern Sweden were used (N = 24,819; 59% participation rate). Geocoded residential addresses and the geographical information system technique were used to assess objectively five recreational values of the close natural environment: serene, wild, lush, spacious and culture. On average, a citizen of the Scania region, inner city areas excluded, only had access to 0.67 recreational values within 300 metres distance from their residence. The number of recreational values near the residence was strongly associated with neighbourhood satisfaction and physical activity. The effect on satisfaction was especially marked among tenants and the presence of recreational values was associated with low or normal body mass index in this group. A less marked positive association with vitality among women was observed. No evident effect on self-rated health was detectable. Immediate access to natural environments with high recreational values was rare in the study population and was distributed in an inequitable manner. Moreover, such access was associated with a positive assessment of neighbourhood satisfaction and time spent on physical activity, which can be expected to reduce obesity and increase vitality by having a buffering effect on stress.
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Studies have shown associations between health indices and access to "green" environments but the underlying mechanisms of this association are not clear. To examine associations of perceived neighbourhood "greenness" with perceived physical and mental health and to investigate whether walking and social factors account for the relationships. A mailed survey collected the following data from adults (n = 1895) in Adelaide, Australia: physical and mental health scores (12-item short-form health survey); perceived neighbourhood greenness; walking for recreation and for transport; social coherence; local social interaction and sociodemographic variables. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, those who perceived their neighbourhood as highly green had 1.37 and 1.60 times higher odds of better physical and mental health, respectively, compared with those who perceived the lowest greenness. Perceived greenness was also correlated with recreational walking and social factors. When walking for recreation and social factors were added to the regression models, recreational walking was a significant predictor of physical health; however, the association between greenness and physical health became non-significant. Recreational walking and social coherence were associated with mental health and the relationship between greenness and mental health remained significant. Perceived neighbourhood greenness was more strongly associated with mental health than it was with physical health. Recreational walking seemed to explain the link between greenness and physical health, whereas the relationship between greenness and mental health was only partly accounted for by recreational walking and social coherence. The restorative effects of natural environments may be involved in the residual association of this latter relationship.
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Stress is a growing public health problem, but there are only a few studies with national representative samples on the occurrence of stress. The aim of this study was to assess the level of stress, measured by the Perceived Stress Scale, in Denmark, and to identify and characterize the group with high levels of stress by factors measured at both the individual and neighbourhood levels in a national representative sample of the Danish population. The 10,022 participants in the National Health Interview Survey 2005 were asked about perceived stress and individual factors in a cross-sectional design. Information on neighbourhood factors was derived from a national registry. Data were analysed by means of logistic regression models. Low education, heavy smoking, physical inactivity, lack of social network and poor working conditions were associated with perceived stress. For women, living in a neighbourhood with low average education, and for men, living in a neighbourhood with a high rate of crime and a low degree of ethnic diversity, were associated with higher perceived stress. Perceived stress was also related to indicators of morbidity. The group with high perceived stress is characterized by individual and neighbourhood factors with negative impacts on quality of life and risk of illness. This knowledge can guide future stress prevention efforts. Additionally, the results suggest a negative social component where perceived stress, unhealthy lifestyle and low social status are accumulated, and perceived stress might be used as a measure to identify groups characterized by accumulation of risk factors.
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The authors assessed the effect of psychological stress on total and cause-specific mortality among men and women. In 1981-1983, the 12,128 Danish participants in the Copenhagen City Heart Study were asked two questions on stress intensity and frequency and were followed in a nationwide registry until 2004, with <0.1% loss to follow-up. Sex differences were found in the relations between stress and mortality (p = 0.02). After adjustments, men with high stress versus low stress had higher all-cause mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15, 1.52). This finding was most pronounced for deaths due to respiratory diseases (high vs. low stress: HR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.91), external causes (HR = 3.07, 95% CI: 1.65, 5.71), and suicide (HR = 5.91, 95% CI: 2.47, 14.16). High stress was related to a 2.59 (95% CI: 1.20, 5.61) higher risk of ischemic heart disease mortality for younger, but not older, men. In general, the effects of stress were most pronounced among younger and healthier men. No associations were found between stress and mortality among women, except among younger women with high stress, who experienced lower cancer mortality (HR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.28, 0.92). Future preventive strategies may be targeted toward stress as a risk factor for premature death among middle-aged, presumably healthy men.
Chapter
Public health is one of the efforts organized by society to protect, promote, and restore people’s health. It is the combination of science, skills, and beliefs directed towards the maintenance and improvement of the health of the whole population through collective and social actions [1]. The programs, services, and institutions involved emphasize the prevention of disease and the health needs of the population as a whole. Public health activities change with developing technology and social values, but the goals remain the same: to reduce the amount of disease, premature death, and disease-produced discomfort, sickness and disability in the population. Public health is thus a social institution, a discipline, and a practice. The Acheson Report [2] focusing on the future development of public health function in the United Kingdom gave this definition of public health in 1988: “The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts of society”.
Article
Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of physical activity during leisure time in adults from the 15 member states of the European Union and the relationship with sociodemographic variables. Methods: A representative sample, with approximately 1000 adults. aged 15 and upward, was selected from each member state to complete a questionnaire on attitudes to physical activity, body weight. and health by a face-to-face interview, summing a total of 15,239 subjects. The amount of leisure-time physical activity was quantified by assigning metabolic equivalents (METs) to each activity. Multiple linear regression models with MET-h wk(-1);ls the dependent variable were fitted. Results: Northern European countries showed higher levels of physical activity than southern ones. The highest prevalence (91.9%) was found in Finland, and the lowest (40.7%) in Portugal. A higher percentage of men practiced any leisure-time physical activity and also showed higher mean of MET-h.wk(-1). In both genders, the multivariate models showed it significant trend to higher leisure time activity in participants with higher educational levels and in nonsmokers. Also. an inverse association between body mass index and leisure-time physical activity was found. Conclusion: The prevalence of any physical activity during? leisure time in the adult European population was similar to the U.S. estimates. Nevertheless. the amount of activity is low, and a wide disparity between countries exists. To our knowledge, this is the: first study determining the prevalence and amount of leisure-time physical activity, which is the first step to define strategies to persuade populations to increase their physical activity.
Book
From the reviews of the First Edition."An interesting, useful, and well-written book on logistic regression models . . . Hosmer and Lemeshow have used very little mathematics, have presented difficult concepts heuristically and through illustrative examples, and have included references."—Choice"Well written, clearly organized, and comprehensive . . . the authors carefully walk the reader through the estimation of interpretation of coefficients from a wide variety of logistic regression models . . . their careful explication of the quantitative re-expression of coefficients from these various models is excellent."—Contemporary Sociology"An extremely well-written book that will certainly prove an invaluable acquisition to the practicing statistician who finds other literature on analysis of discrete data hard to follow or heavily theoretical."—The StatisticianIn this revised and updated edition of their popular book, David Hosmer and Stanley Lemeshow continue to provide an amazingly accessible introduction to the logistic regression model while incorporating advances of the last decade, including a variety of software packages for the analysis of data sets. Hosmer and Lemeshow extend the discussion from biostatistics and epidemiology to cutting-edge applications in data mining and machine learning, guiding readers step-by-step through the use of modeling techniques for dichotomous data in diverse fields. Ample new topics and expanded discussions of existing material are accompanied by a wealth of real-world examples-with extensive data sets available over the Internet.
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This article reports on the Danish translation of SF-36 and discusses the procedures used for translation improvement, translation evaluation, and scale evaluation. We followed the standard procedures of the International Quality of Life Assessment (IQOLA) Project including forward and backward translation, independent assessment of translation quality, assessment of response-choice weighting through visual analogue scale (VAS) investigations, and psychometric testing of the translated questionnaire. We found that backward translation, independent quality assessment, and VAS studies provided useful information for translation improvement. The Danish SF-36 received a favorable translation evaluation by independent rating; however, interrater agreement was low. Preliminary validity studies generally supported the internal consistency and homogeneity of the Danish SF-36, and the questionnaire performed satisfactorily in distinguishing depressive patients from nonpatients. On the basis of this and other studies, we recommend use of the Danish SF-36 in research.
Article
SUMMARY This paper provides a critical look at the challenges facing the field of health promotion. Pointing to the persistence of the disease orientation and the limits of risk factor approaches for conceptualizing and conduct- ing research on health, the salutogenic orientation is presented as a more viable paradigm for health promo- tion research and practice. The Sense of Coherence framework is offered as a useful theory for taking a salutogenic approach to health research.
Article
We compared psychophysiological stress recovery and directed attention restoration in natural and urban field settings using repeated measures of ambulatory blood pressure, emotion, and attention collected from 112 randomly assigned young adults. To vary restoration needs, we had half of the subjects begin the environmental treatment directly after driving to the field site. The other half completed attentionally demanding tasks just before the treatment. After the drive or the tasks, sitting in a room with tree views promoted more rapid decline in diastolic blood pressure than sitting in a viewless room. Subsequently walking in a nature reserve initially fostered blood pressure change that indicated greater stress reduction than afforded by walking in the urban surroundings. Performance on an attentional test improved slightly from the pretest to the midpoint of the walk in the nature reserve, while it declined in the urban setting. This opened a performance gap that persisted after the walk. Positive affect increased and anger decreased in the nature reserve by the end of the walk; the opposite pattern emerged in the urban environment. The task manipulation affected emotional self-reports. We discuss implications of the results for theories about restorative environments and environmental health promotion measures.
Article
Author's Note: This article benefited greatly from the many improvements in organization, expression, and content made by Rachel Kaplan, and the many suggestions concerning consistency, clarity, and accuracy made by Terry Hartig. Thanks also to the SESAME group for providing a supportive environment for exploring many of the themes discussed here. The project was funded, in part, by USDA Forest Service, North Central Experiment Station, Urban Forestry Unit Co-operative Agreements. Abstract An analysis of the underlying similarities between the Eastern meditation tradition and attention restoration theory (ART) provides a basis for an expanded framework for studying directed attention. The focus of the analysis is the active role the individual can play in the preservation and recovery of the directed attention capacity. Two complementary strategies are presented which can help individuals more effectively manage their attentional resource. One strategy involves avoiding unnecessary costs in terms of expenditure of directed attention. The other involves enhancing the effect of restorative opportunities. Both strategies are hypothesized to be more effective if one gains generic knowledge, self knowledge and specific skills. The interplay between a more active form of mental involvement and the more passive approach of meditation appear to have far-reaching ramifications for managing directed attention. Research on mental restoration has focused on the role of the environment, and especially the natural environment. Such settings have been shown to reduce both stress and directed attention fatigue (DAF) (Hartig & Evans, 1993). Far less emphasis, however, has been placed on the possibility of active participation by the individual in need of recovery. A major purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of this mostly neglected component of the restorative process.
Article
Urbanicity presents a challenge for the pursuit of sustainability. High settlement density may offer some environmental, economic, and social advantages, but it can impose psychological demands that people find excessive. These demands of urban life have stimulated a desire for contact with nature through suburban residence, leading to planning and transportation practices that have profound implications for the pursuit of sustainability. Some might dismiss people's desire for contact with nature as the result of an anti-urban bias in conjunction with a romantic view of nature. However, research in environmental psychology suggests that people's desire for contact with nature serves an important adaptive function, namely, psychological restoration. Based on this insight, we offer a perspective on an underlying practical challenge: designing communities that balance settlement density with satisfactory access to nature experience. We discuss research on four issues: how people tend to believe that nature is restorative; how restoration needs and beliefs shape environmental preferences; how well people actually achieve restoration in urban and natural environments; and how contact with nature can promote health. In closing, we consider urban nature as a design option that promotes urban sustainability.
Article
Stress and stress-related illnesses, as reflected in medical records, have increased dramatically among adults and children in Western societies. A growing part of the budget for medical service in Sweden is used for individuals suffering from different stress-related illnesses such as burnout syndrome, insomnia and fatigue, depression, feelings of panic, etc. In this paper, we present results from a study in which 953 randomly selected individuals in nine Swedish cities answered a questionnaire about their health and their use of different urban open green spaces in and close to the city.The results indicate that city landscape planning may affect the health of town-dwellers. Statistically significant relationships were found between the use of urban open green spaces and self-reported experiences of stress – regardless of the informant's age, sex and socio-economic status. The results suggest that the more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stress-related illnesses. The same pattern is shown when time spent per week in urban open green spaces is measured.The distance to public urban open green spaces seems to be of decisive importance, as is access to a garden, in the form of a private garden or a green yard immediately adjacent to, for instance, an apartment building. People do not usually compensate for lack of green environments in their own residential area with more visits to public parks or urban forests.According to our results, laying out more green areas close to apartment houses, and making these areas more accessible, could make for more restorative environments. Outdoor areas that provide environments free from demands and stress, and that are available as part of everyday life, could have significant positive effects on the health of town-dwellers in Sweden. This may also apply to other Western societies.
Article
Does the widely documented tendency to prefer natural over built environments owe to the perception of greater restorative potential in natural environments? In the present experimental study we tested the mediating role of restoration in environmental preferences. Participants viewed a frightening movie, and then were shown a video of either a natural or a built environment. We used two examples of each type of environment. Participants’ mood ratings were assessed before and after they viewed the frightening movie, and again after viewing the environmental video. Participants also rated the beauty of the environment shown (to indicate preference) and performed a test of concentration after viewing the environmental video. The results indicate that participants perceived the natural environments as more beautiful than the built environments. In addition, viewing natural environments elicited greater improvement in mood and marginally better concentration than viewing built environments. Mediational analyses revealed that affective restoration accounted for a substantial proportion of the preference for the natural over the built environments. Together, these results help substantiate the adaptive function of people's environmental preferences.
Article
Directed attention plays an important role in human information processing; its fatigue, in turn, has far-reaching consequences. Attention Restoration Theory provides an analysis of the kinds of experiences that lead to recovery from such fatigue. Natural environments turn out to be particularly rich in the characteristics necessary for restorative experiences. An integrative framework is proposed that places both directed attention and stress in the larger context of human-environment relationships.
Article
The article presents the result from a Danish survey on access and use of green areas and the impact on experienced stress and obesity. The statistical results indicate that access to a garden or short distances to green areas from the dwelling are associated with less stress and a lower likelihood of obesity. The number of visits cannot explain the effects of green areas on the health indicators. It is suggested that the significance of distance to green areas is mainly derived from its correlation with the character of the neighbourhood and its conduciveness to outdoor activities and "healthy" modes of travel.
Article
The Danish National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark has carried out national representative health interview surveys among adult Danes in 1987, 1994, 2000 and 2005. The aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of the design, including the response rates of the four surveys. The samples in 1987 and 1994 are based on simple random sampling. The samples in 2000 and 2005 are based on stratified random sampling. In addition, all invited to the survey in 1994 were re-invited in both 2000 and 2005. Data were collected via face-to-face interview at the respondent's home. Following the interview in 1994, 2000 and 2005, all respondents were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. The response rate for the face-to-face interview fell from 79.9% in 1987 to 66.7% in 2005 and the response rate for the self-administered questionnaire from 68.1% in 1994 to 51.5% in 2005. The decrease is particularly marked among the young. The mean interview length has increased from 33.3 minutes in 1987 to 50.2 minutes in 2005. The declining response rate in the surveys is a major concern and can pose problems in generalizing data from the surveys to the Danish population. However, these surveys are essential, as the information collected cannot be gathered by means of official statistical registers. Hence, efforts to increase the response rate will be important in the forthcoming surveys.
Article
Studies have shown that exposure to the natural environment, or so-called green space, has an independent effect on health and health-related behaviours. We postulated that income-related inequality in health would be less pronounced in populations with greater exposure to green space, since access to such areas can modify pathways through which low socioeconomic position can lead to disease. We classified the population of England at younger than retirement age (n=40 813 236) into groups on the basis of income deprivation and exposure to green space. We obtained individual mortality records (n=366 348) to establish whether the association between income deprivation, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality (circulatory disease, lung cancer, and intentional self-harm) in 2001-05, varied by exposure to green space measured in 2001, with control for potential confounding factors. We used stratified models to identify the nature of this variation. The association between income deprivation and mortality differed significantly across the groups of exposure to green space for mortality from all causes (p<0.0001) and circulatory disease (p=0.0212), but not from lung cancer or intentional self-harm. Health inequalities related to income deprivation in all-cause mortality and mortality from circulatory diseases were lower in populations living in the greenest areas. The incidence rate ratio (IRR) for all-cause mortality for the most income deprived quartile compared with the least deprived was 1.93 (95% CI 1.86-2.01) in the least green areas, whereas it was 1.43 (1.34-1.53) in the most green. For circulatory diseases, the IRR was 2.19 (2.04-2.34) in the least green areas and 1.54 (1.38-1.73) in the most green. There was no effect for causes of death unlikely to be affected by green space, such as lung cancer and intentional self-harm. Populations that are exposed to the greenest environments also have lowest levels of health inequality related to income deprivation. Physical environments that promote good health might be important to reduce socioeconomic health inequalities.
Article
This paper presents evidence from three samples, two of college students and one of participants in a community smoking-cessation program, for the reliability and validity of a 14-item instrument, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), designed to measure the degree to which situations in one's life are appraised as stressful. The PSS showed adequate reliability and, as predicted, was correlated with life-event scores, depressive and physical symptomatology, utilization of health services, social anxiety, and smoking-reduction maintenance. In all comparisons, the PSS was a better predictor of the outcome in question than were life-event scores. When compared to a depressive symptomatology scale, the PSS was found to measure a different and independently predictive construct. Additional data indicate adequate reliability and validity of a four-item version of the PSS for telephone interviews. The PSS is suggested for examining the role of nonspecific appraised stress in the etiology of disease and behavioral disorders and as an outcome measure of experienced levels of stress.
Article
This article reports on the Danish translation of SF-36 and discusses the procedures used for translation improvement, translation evaluation, and scale evaluation. We followed the standard procedures of the International Quality of Life Assessment (IQOLA) Project including forward and backward translation, independent assessment of translation quality, assessment of response-choice weighting through visual analogue scale (VAS) investigations, and psychometric testing of the translated questionnaire. We found that backward translation, independent quality assessment, and VAS studies provided useful information for translation improvement. The Danish SF-36 received a favorable translation evaluation by independent rating; however, interrater agreement was low. Preliminary validity studies generally supported the internal consistency and homogeneity of the Danish SF-36, and the questionnaire performed satisfactorily in distinguishing depressive patients from nonpatients. On the basis of this and other studies, we recommend use of the Danish SF-36 in research.
Article
To estimate the prevalence of physical activity during leisure time in adults from the 15 member states of the European Union and the relationship with sociodemographic variables. A representative sample, with approximately 1000 adults, aged 15 and upward, was selected from each member state to complete a questionnaire on attitudes to physical activity, body weight, and health by a face-to-face interview, summing a total of 15,239 subjects. The amount of leisure-time physical activity was quantified by assigning metabolic equivalents (METs) to each activity. Multiple linear regression models with MET-h.wk(-1) as the dependent variable were fitted. Northern European countries showed higher levels of physical activity than southern ones. The highest prevalence (91.9%) was found in Finland, and the lowest (40.7%) in Portugal. A higher percentage of men practiced any leisure-time physical activity and also showed higher mean of MET-h.wk(-1). In both genders, the multivariate models showed a significant trend to higher leisure time activity in participants with higher educational levels and in nonsmokers. Also, an inverse association between body mass index and leisure-time physical activity was found. The prevalence of any physical activity during leisure time in the adult European population was similar to the U.S. estimates. Nevertheless, the amount of activity is low, and a wide disparity between countries exists. To our knowledge, this is the first study determining the prevalence and amount of leisure-time physical activity, which is the first step to define strategies to persuade populations to increase their physical activity.
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