Greenspace and Mental Health (02-28-22)

Reid, Rieves, and Carlson evaluated the effects of access to greenspace on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They share that they used data collected via a survey completed by Denver, CO residents (November 2019 – January 2021) “and [also] measured objective green space as the average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) from aerial imagery within 300m and 500m of the participant’s residence. Perceived green space was measured through Likert scores on five questions about vegetation near the home that captured perceived abundance, visibility, access, usage, and quality of green space. . . . Adjusted for sociodemographic and pandemic stressors, we found that spending a lot of time in green space (usage) was significantly associated with lower anxiety and depression. We also observed significantly lower depression scores associated with NDVI . . . (objective abundance) and significantly lower anxiety scores with perceived abundance of green space. . . . We did not observe significant associations for any green space metric and perceived stress after adjustment for confounding variables.”

Colleen Reid, Emma Rieves, and Kate Carlson.  2022.  “Perceptions of Green Space Usage, Abundance, and Quality of Green Space Were Associated with Better Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Residents of Denver.”  PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 3, e0263779, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0263779