Living amid greens doesn’t make you exercise more

June 11th, 2008 - 12:54 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 11 (IANS) That nice neighbourhood park is apparently not all that inviting. A new study, in fact, contends that people with more greens around them walk and cycle less often and for shorter periods. The Dutch study involved 5,000 people and sought answers to questions on physical activity and self-perceived health.

“In this study we investigated whether a green living environment encourages people to undertake physical activity,” said Jolanda Maas, who led the study.

“We found there was no relationship between the amount of green space in people’s environment and whether they played sports, walked or cycled for leisure.”

In other words people living near green spaces walked less often, probably as their shops and facilities were further away so they relied more heavily on the use of their car.

Apparently closeness of destinations is more important for walking and cycling during leisure time in the Netherlands than availability of green space.

“Little is known about the way in which green space exerts a beneficial effect. Several explanations are possible,” said Maas.

The findings of the study have been published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

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