Turunen and colleagues researched links between green and blue spaces and quality-of-life. More specifically: “associations of the amounts of residential green and blue spaces within 1 km radius around the respondent’s home (based on the Urban Atlas 2012), green and blue views from home and green space visits with self-reported use of psychotropic (anxiolytics, hypnotics and antidepressants), antihypertensive and asthma medication were examined. . . . Amounts of residential green and blue spaces or green and blue views from home were not associated with medications.
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Koreny and teammates evaluated how urban design influences the activity levels of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They determined via research with people with mild-to-very severe COPD that “higher population density was associated with fewer steps, more sedentary time and worse exercise capacity. . . . Pedestrian street length related with more steps and less sedentary time. . . . Steeper slope was associated with better exercise capacity. . . . Higher NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] levels related with more sedentary time and more difficulty in physical activity.
Ogletree and colleagues found lower crime levels in areas near greenspaces. They report that they “investigate[d] the relationship between different types of crime and urban greenspace in 59,703 census block groups within the 301 largest cities in the United States. After accounting for . . . demographic, socioeconomic, and climate variables, we found that, on average, census block groups with more greenspace . . . had lower risk of both property [for example, arson, vandalism, and burglary]. . . and violent crime. . . .
Mendoza and colleagues studied links between urban design and suicide mortality. They report that “Surrounding greenness was measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within a 300 m and 1,000 m buffer around the residential address at baseline. . . . We observed a 7% . . . and 6% . . . risk reduction of suicide mortality for an . . . increase in residential surrounding greenness for buffers of 300 m and 1,000 m, respectively. . . .
Marquet and colleagues link area walkability and greenness to the activity levels of users. They found “Using a nationwide sample of working female adults . . . [and] seven days of GPS and accelerometry data. . . . [that] Higher activity space walkability was associated with higher levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity, and higher activity space greenness was associated with greater numbers of steps per week. . . . Highest levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity were observed for participants with both high walkability and high greenness in their activity spaces.
Das and Gailey’s work confirms the value of exercising in green environments via data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research duo report that “Previous cross-sectional literature reports protective effects of outdoor exposure on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We longitudinally assess whether green exercise corresponded with a decline in adverse mental health symptoms, controlling for state lockdown policies. . . . we specificized participation in an outdoor walk, jog, or hike (green exercise). . . .
What neighborhoods can kids and their parents benefit from being in? Hunter and colleagues set out to answer this question. Their goal was “To identify features parents perceived as being relevant for their child’s active play, their own active recreation, and their coactivity. Parents . . . with preschoolers . . . living in Edmonton, Canada were recruited. . . .
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