IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Coombes, Emma
  • Jones, Andrew P.
  • Hillsdon, Melvyn


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 30Â 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Coombes, Emma & Jones, Andrew P. & Hillsdon, Melvyn, 2010. "The relationship of physical activity and overweight to objectively measured green space accessibility and use," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 816-822, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:6:p:816-822

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring accessibility: an exploration of issues and alternatives," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
    2. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring Accessibility: An Exploration of Issues and Alternatives," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:31:y:2018:i:pa:p:102-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ghimire, Ramesh & Ferreira, Susana & Green, Gary T. & Poudyal, Neelam C. & Cordell, H. Ken & Thapa, Janani R., 2017. "Green Space and Adult Obesity in the United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 201-212.
    3. Gerlinde Grasser & Delfien Dyck & Sylvia Titze & Willibald Stronegger, 2013. "Objectively measured walkability and active transport and weight-related outcomes in adults: a systematic review," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(4), pages 615-625, August.
    4. Michael Lechner & Paul Downward, 2017. "Heterogeneous sports participation and labour market outcomes in England," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(4), pages 335-348, January.
    5. He, Jialin & Yi, Hongmei & Liu, Jian, 2016. "Urban green space recreational service assessment and management: A conceptual model based on the service generation process," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 59-68.
    6. Chan, Dara V. & Gopal, Sucharita & Helfrich, Christine A., 2014. "Accessibility patterns and community integration among previously homeless adults: A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 142-152.
    7. Evans, Gary W. & Jones-Rounds, McKenzie L. & Belojevic, Goran & Vermeylen, Francoise, 2012. "Family income and childhood obesity in eight European cities: The mediating roles of Neighborhood characteristics and physical activity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 477-481.
    8. Jones, Benjamin A., 2016. "Work more and play less? Time use impacts of changing ecosystem services: The case of the invasive emerald ash borer," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 49-58.
    9. repec:eee:socmed:v:208:y:2018:i:c:p:41-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jinbao Zhao & Wei Deng & Yan Song & Yueran Zhu, 2014. "Analysis of Metro ridership at station level and station-to-station level in Nanjing: an approach based on direct demand models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 133-155, January.
    11. Elliott, Lewis R. & White, Mathew P. & Taylor, Adrian H. & Herbert, Stephen, 2015. "Energy expenditure on recreational visits to different natural environments," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 53-60.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:6:p:816-822. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.