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      Neighbourhood and path-based greenspace in three European countries: associations with objective physical activity


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          Greenspace has been associated with health benefits in many contexts. An important pathway may be through outdoor physical activity. We use a novel approach to examine the link between greenspace microenvironments and outdoor physical activity levels in the HEALS study conducted in Edinburgh (UK), the Netherlands, and Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece).


          Using physical activity tracker recordings, 118 HEALS participants with young children were classified with regard to daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA); 60 were classified with regard to the metabolic equivalent task (MET)-minutes for each of the 1014 active trips they made. Greenspace indicators were generated for Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), tree cover density (TCD), and green land use (GLU). We employed linear mixed-effects models to analyse (1) daily MVPA in relation to greenspace within 300 m and 1000 m of residential addresses and (2) trip MET-minutes in relation to average greenspace within a 50 m buffer of walking/cycling routes. Models were adjusted for activity, walkability, bluespace, age, sex, car ownership, dog ownership, season, weekday/weekend day, and local meteorology.


          There was no clear association between MVPA-minutes and any residential greenspace measure. For example, in fully adjusted models, a 10 percentage point increase in NDVI within 300 m of home was associated with a daily increase of 1.14 (95% CI − 0.41 to 2.70) minutes of MVPA. However, we did find evidence to indicate greenspace markers were positively linked to intensity and duration of activity: in fully adjusted models, 10 percentage point increases in trip NDVI, TCD, and GLU were associated with increases of 10.4 (95% CI: 4.43 to 16.4), 10.6 (95% CI: 4.96 to 16.3), and 3.36 (95% CI: 0.00 to 6.72) MET-minutes, respectively. The magnitude of associations with greenspace tended to be greater for cycling.


          More strenuous or longer walking and cycling trips occurred in environments with more greenspace, but levels of residential greenspace did not have a clear link with outdoor MVPA. To build on our research, we suggest future work examine larger, more diverse populations and investigate the influence of greenspace for trip purpose and route preference.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12889-021-10259-0.

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          Most cited references56

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          Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants

          Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life. We describe levels of insufficient physical activity across countries, and estimate global and regional trends.
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            2011 Compendium of Physical Activities: a second update of codes and MET values.

            The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed to enhance the comparability of results across studies using self-report physical activity (PA) and is used to quantify the energy cost of a wide variety of PA. We provide the second update of the Compendium, called the 2011 Compendium. The 2011 Compendium retains the previous coding scheme to identify the major category headings and specific PA by their rate of energy expenditure in MET. Modifications in the 2011 Compendium include cataloging measured MET values and their source references, when available; addition of new codes and specific activities; an update of the Compendium tracking guide that links information in the 1993, 2000, and 2011 compendia versions; and the creation of a Web site to facilitate easy access and downloading of Compendium documents. Measured MET values were obtained from a systematic search of databases using defined key words. The 2011 Compendium contains 821 codes for specific activities. Two hundred seventeen new codes were added, 68% (561/821) of which have measured MET values. Approximately half (317/604) of the codes from the 2000 Compendium were modified to improve the definitions and/or to consolidate specific activities and to update estimated MET values where measured values did not exist. Updated MET values accounted for 73% of all code changes. The Compendium is used globally to quantify the energy cost of PA in adults for surveillance activities, research studies, and, in clinical settings, to write PA recommendations and to assess energy expenditure in individuals. The 2011 Compendium is an update of a system for quantifying the energy cost of adult human PA and is a living document that is moving in the direction of being 100% evidence based.
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              Daily dataset of 20th-century surface air temperature and precipitation series for the European Climate Assessment


                Author and article information

                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                4 February 2021
                4 February 2021
                : 21
                [1 ]GRID grid.410343.1, ISNI 0000 0001 2224 0230, Institute of Occupational Medicine, ; Edinburgh, UK
                [2 ]GRID grid.8991.9, ISNI 0000 0004 0425 469X, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, ; London, UK
                [3 ]GRID grid.1001.0, ISNI 0000 0001 2180 7477, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, , Australian National University, ; Canberra, Australia
                [4 ]VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland
                [5 ]TNO, Netherlands
                [6 ]GRID grid.4793.9, ISNI 0000000109457005, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, ; Thessaloniki, Greece
                [7 ]GRID grid.6083.d, ISNI 0000 0004 0635 6999, National Centre for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’, ; Athens, Greece
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100011102, Seventh Framework Programme;
                Award ID: 603946
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Public health
                greenspace,physical activity,exposure,walking,cycling
                Public health
                greenspace, physical activity, exposure, walking, cycling


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