The relationship of physical activity and overweight to objectively measured green space accessibility and use

Emma Coombes, Andrew P. Jones, Melvyn Hillsdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

517 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the association between objectively measured access to green space, frequency of green space use, physical activity, and the probability of being overweight or obese in the city of Bristol, England. Data from the 2005 Bristol Quality of Life in your Neighbourhood survey for 6821 adults were combined with a comprehensive GIS database of neighbourhood and green space characteristics. A range of green space accessibility measures were computed. Associations between accessibility and the odds of respondents achieving a recommended 30. min or more of moderate activity five times a week, or being overweight or obese, were examined using logistic regression. Results showed that the reported frequency of green space use declined with increasing distance. The study also found that respondents living closest to the type of green space classified as a Formal park were more likely to achieve the physical activity recommendation and less likely to be overweight or obese. The association with physical activity, but not with overweight or obesity, remained after adjustment for respondent characteristics, area deprivation, and a range of characteristics of the neighbourhood environment. The findings suggest that the provision of good access to green spaces in urban areas may help promote population physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-822
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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