REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0005.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: systematic review; greenness; GIS; physical health; buffers; green space; park; health outcomes; NDVI
Online: 1 June 2017 (07:54:16 CEST)
Is the amount of “greenness” within a 250-meter, 500-meter, 1000-meter or a 2000-meter buffer surrounding a person’s home a good predictor of their physical health? The evidence is inconclusive. We reviewed Web of Science articles that used geographic information systems buffer analyses to identify trends between physical health, greenness, and distance within which greenness is measured. Our inclusion criteria were: (1) use of buffers to estimate residential greenness; (2) statistical analyses that calculated significance of the greenness-physical health relationship; and (3) peer-reviewed articles published in English between 2007 and 2017. To capture multiple findings from a single article, we selected our unit of inquiry as the analysis, not the article. Our final sample included 260 analyses in 47 articles. All aspects of the review were in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Analyses were independently judged as more, less, or least likely to be biased based on the inclusion of objective health measures and income/education controls. We found evidence that larger buffer sizes, up to 2,000m, better predicted physical health than smaller ones. We recommend that future analyses use nested rather than overlapping buffers to evaluate to what extent greenness not immediately around a person’s home (i.e., within 1,000-2,000m) predicts physical health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0538.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Green space; Arid; Diabetes; Hispanics; Built Environment; Biophilia
Online: 20 November 2020 (11:25:55 CET)
Evolutionary psychology theories propose that contact with green, natural environments may benefit physical health, but little comparable evidence exists for brown, natural environments, such as the desert. In this study, we examined the association between “brownness” and “greenness” with fasting glucose among young residents of El Paso, Texas. We defined brownness as the surface not covered by vegetation or impervious land within Euclidian buffers around participants’ homes. Fasting glucose along with demographic and behavioral data was obtained from the Nurse Engagement and Wellness Study (N = 517). We found that residential proximity to brownness was not associated with fasting glucose when modeled independently. In contrast, we found that residential greenness was associated with decreased levels of fasting glucose, despite the relatively low levels of greenness within the predominantly desert environment of El Paso. A difference between the top and bottom greenness exposure quartiles within a 250 m buffer was associated with a 3.5 mg/dL decrease in fasting glucose levels (95% confidence interval: -6.2, -0.8). Our results suggest that within the understudied context of the desert, green vegetation may be health-promoting to a degree that is similar to other, non-desert locations in the world that have higher baselines levels of green.