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How is quality of urban green spaces associated with physical activity and health?

Akpinar, Abdullah
Urban forestry & urban greening 2016 v.16 pp. 76-83
linear models, mental health, people, physical activity, surveys, Turkey (country)
This study investigates the associations between quality of urban green spaces (UGS), self-reported physical activity (PA), and health indicators in Aydın, Turkey. Data was collected through a survey with 420 participants. The associations between quality of UGS, self-reported frequency and duration of PA, and stress, mental health, and physical health were examined with multivariate linear regression while controlling for confounding factors. Results showed that nearest distance to UGS and quality of UGS (i.e. maintenance and cleanliness) were associated with increased frequency of PA. Higher frequency of PA was related to less stress and better mental health and longer duration of PA was associated with better physical health. In addition, large and open/visible UGS were associated with better physical health. The findings also showed that stress mediates the relationship between PA and mental health. Results suggest that providing large, visible as well as clean and well-maintained UGS close to people's homes may be an effective strategy to improve PA and people's health.