Green Space and Cognitive Function (05-12-22)

Jimenez and colleagues found a link between exposure to green space and higher levels of cognitive functioning. They report that, using data from 13,594 women (mean age 61), they determined that “increasing green space was associated with higher scores of overall cognition and psychomotor speed/attention. In contrast, there was no association between green space and learning/working memory. . . . Green space can decelerate cognitive decline by supporting physical activity, psychological restoration, or reducing exposure to air pollution. . . . Residential exposure to green space was assessed using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a satellite-derived indicator of the quantity of ground vegetation. Landsat satellite data at 270-m and 1230-m buffers around each participants’ residential addresses in 2013 were used. . . . This difference in scores is similar to the difference observed in women 1 year apart in age in the data. . . . These findings suggest that increasing residential green space may be associated with modest benefits in cognition in middle-aged women.”

Marcia Jimenez, Elise Elliott, Nicole DeVille, Francine Laden, Jaime Hart, Jennifer Weuve, Francine Grodstein, and Peter James.  2022. “Residential Green Space and Cognitive Function in a Large Cohort of Middle-Aged Women.”  JAMA Network Open, vol. 5, no. 4, e229306, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2791565