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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081719

Comparing the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index with the Google Street View Measure of Vegetation to Assess Associations between Greenness, Walkability, Recreational Physical Activity, and Health in Ottawa, Canada

1
Department of Health Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada
3
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
4
Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
5
Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

The manner in which features of the built environment, such as walkability and greenness, impact participation in recreational activities and health are complex. We analyzed survey data provided by 282 Ottawa adults in 2016. The survey collected information on participation in recreational physical activities by season, and whether these activities were performed within participants’ neighbourhoods. The SF-12 instrument was used to characterize their overall mental and physical health. Measures of active living environment, and the satellite derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Google Street View (GSV) greenness indices were assigned to participants’ residential addresses. Logistic regression and least squares regression were used to characterize associations between these measures and recreational physical activity, and self-reported health. The NDVI was not associated with participation in recreational activities in either the winter or summer, or physical or mental health. In contrast, the GSV was positively associated with participation in recreational activities during the summer. Specifically, those in the highest quartile spent, on average, 5.4 more hours weekly on recreational physical activities relative to those in the lowest quartile (p = 0.01). Active living environments were associated with increased utilitarian walking, and reduced reliance on use of motor vehicles. Our findings provide support for the hypothesis that neighbourhood greenness may play an important role in promoting participation in recreational physical activity during the summer. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; walkability; greenness; recreational physical activity; mental health; physical health built environment; walkability; greenness; recreational physical activity; mental health; physical health
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Villeneuve, P.J.; Ysseldyk, R.L.; Root, A.; Ambrose, S.; DiMuzio, J.; Kumar, N.; Shehata, M.; Xi, M.; Seed, E.; Li, X.; Shooshtari, M.; Rainham, D. Comparing the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index with the Google Street View Measure of Vegetation to Assess Associations between Greenness, Walkability, Recreational Physical Activity, and Health in Ottawa, Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1719.

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