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

This study examined relationships between greenness exposure and free-living physical activity behavior of children in smart growth and conventionally designed communities.

  • The authors developed a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to quantify children’s (n=208) greenness exposure using an accelerometer and GPS data points.
  • Excluding activity at home and during school hours, the study found that momentary greenness exposure was positively associated with the likelihood of concurrent 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.
  • An individual-level analysis found that children who experienced at least 20 minutes of daily exposure to greener spaces engaged in nearly 5 times the daily rate of MVPA of children with nearly zero daily exposure to greener spaces.

Almanza, E., M. Jerrett, et al. (2012). "A study of community design, greenness, and physical activity in children using satellite, GPS and accelerometer data." Health & Place 18(1): 46-54.

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