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# Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center

Scientific Reports

Nature Publishing Group

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### Abstract

Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses from the Ontario Health Study. Results from multiple regressions and multivariate canonical correlation analyses suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions (controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors). We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with$10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger. We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with$20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.

### Most cited references25

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We examine the growing number of studies of survey respondents' global self-ratings of health as predictors of mortality in longitudinal studies of representative community samples. Twenty-seven studies in U.S. and international journals show impressively consistent findings. Global self-rated health is an independent predictor of mortality in nearly all of the studies, despite the inclusion of numerous specific health status indicators and other relevant covariates known to predict mortality. We summarize and review these studies, consider various interpretations which could account for the association, and suggest several approaches to the next stage of research in this field.
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### Environmental factors associated with adults' participation in physical activity: a review.

(2002)
Promoting physical activity is a public health priority, and changes in the environmental contexts of adults' activity choices are believed to be crucial. However, of the factors associated with physical activity, environmental influences are among the least understood. Using journal scans and computerized literature database searches, we identified 19 quantitative studies that assessed the relationships with physical activity behavior of perceived and objectively determined physical environment attributes. Findings were categorized into those examining five categories: accessibility of facilities, opportunities for activity, weather, safety, and aesthetic attributes. Accessibility, opportunities, and aesthetic attributes had significant associations with physical activity. Weather and safety showed less-strong relationships. Where studies pooled different categories to create composite variables, the associations were less likely to be statistically significant. Physical environment factors have consistent associations with physical activity behavior. Further development of ecologic and environmental models, together with behavior-specific and context-specific measurement strategies, should help in further understanding of these associations. Prospective studies are required to identify possible causal relationships.
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### Author and article information

###### Journal
Sci Rep
Sci Rep
Scientific Reports
Nature Publishing Group
2045-2322
09 July 2015
2015
: 5
###### Affiliations
[1 ]Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago , Chicago, IL, USA
[2 ]Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences , Toronto, ON, Canada
[3 ]Indiana University , Bloomington, IN, USA
[4 ]The David Suzuki Foundation , Toronto, ON, Canada
[5 ]Translational Health Science, The University of Adelaide , Adelaide, SA, Australia
[6 ]Rotman Research Institute, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada
[7 ]Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology, and Human Behavior, University of Chicago
###### Article
srep11610
10.1038/srep11610
4497305
26158911

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