A Study of Community Design, Greenness, and Physical Activity in Children Using Satellite, GPS and Accelerometer Data

Health Place. 2012 Jan;18(1):46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Abstract

This study examined relationships between greenness exposure and free-living physical activity behavior of children in smart growth and conventionally designed communities. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to quantify children's (n=208) greenness exposure at 30-s epoch accelerometer and GPS data points. A generalized linear mixed model with a kernel density smoothing term for addressing spatial autocorrelation was fit to analyze residential neighborhood activity data. Excluding activity at home and during school-hours, an epoch-level analysis found momentary greenness exposure was positively associated with the likelihood of contemporaneous moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This association was stronger for smart growth residents who experienced a 39% increase in odds of MVPA for a 10th to 90th percentile increase in exposure to greenness (OR=1.39, 95% CI 1.36-1.44). An individual-level analysis found children who experienced >20 min of daily exposure to greener spaces (>90th percentile) engaged in nearly 5 times the daily rate of MVPA of children with nearly zero daily exposure to greener spaces (95% CI 3.09-7.20).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environment
  • Environment Design* / standards
  • Environment Design* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Recreation
  • Residence Characteristics* / statistics & numerical data
  • Satellite Communications