Green Space Parameters and Health (07-29-19)

Astell-Burt and Feng linked the mental and physical health of city-dwelling people over 45 years old to the extensiveness of the tree canopies and the amount of grass near their homes. They determined that “exposure to 30% or more tree canopy compared with 0% to 9% tree canopy was associated with 31% lower odds of incident psychological distress, whereas exposure to 30% or more grass was associated with 71% higher odds of prevalent psychological distress after adjusting for age, sex, income, economic status, couple status, and educational level. Similar results were found for self-rated fair to poor general health but not physician-diagnosed depression or anxiety. . . . Protection and restoration of urban tree canopy specifically, rather than any urban greening, may be a good option for promotion of community mental health.”  More details on the study: “Percentage of total green space, tree canopy, grass . . . [was] measured within 1.6-km (1-mile) road network distance buffers around residential addresses at baseline.”

Thomas Astell-Burt and Xiaogi Feng.  2019. “Association of Urban Green Space with Mental Health and General Health Among Adults in Australia.” JAMA Network, vol. 2, no. 7, e198209, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8209