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      Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center

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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.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies.

          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.

             N Humpel (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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              Air pollution removal by urban trees and shrubs in the United States

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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
                Author notes
                Article
                srep11610
                10.1038/srep11610
                4497305
                26158911
                Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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