ASSESSING THE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN TYPES OF GREEN SPACE, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND HEALTH INDICATORS USING GIS AND PARTICIPATORY SURVEY
Keywords: Green Space Types, Physical Activity, General Health, Quality of Life, Cardiovascular Disease, GIS
Abstract. This study explores whether specific types of green spaces (i.e. urban green spaces, forests, agricultural lands, rangelands, and wetlands) are associated with physical activity, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease prevalence. A sample of 8,976 respondents from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, conducted in 2006 in Washington State across 291 zip-codes, was analyzed. Measures included physical activity status, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease prevalence (i.e. heart attack, angina, and stroke). Percentage of green spaces was derived from the National Land Cover Dataset and measured with Geographical Information System. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted to analyze the data while controlling for age, sex, race, weight, marital status, occupation, income, education level, and zip-code population and socio-economic situation. Regression results reveal that no green space types were associated with physical activity, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease prevalence. On the other hand, the analysis shows that physical activity was associated with general health, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease prevalence. The findings suggest that other factors such as size, structure and distribution (sprawled or concentrated, large or small), quality, and characteristics of green space might be important in general health, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease prevalence rather than green space types. Therefore, further investigations are needed.