The impact of greenery on physical activity and mental health of adolescent and adult residents of deprived neighborhoods: A longitudinal study

Jessica S. Gubbels*, Stef P. J. Kremers, Mariel Droomers, Cees Hoefnagels, Karien Stronks, Clemens Hosman, Sjerp de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of the study is to assess the impact of perceived and objective changes in greenery on physical activity and mental health of adolescents and adults living in severely deprived neighborhoods in the Netherlands. Longitudinal data regarding changes in greenery, walking, cycling, and depressive symptoms (CES-D), were gathered for 401 adolescents and 454 adults, using questionnaires and interviews with local district managers. Multivariate linear regression models examined the association between greenery and outcome variables, correcting for demographic and socioeconomic covariates and season. Overall, the results showed small and non-significant associations, with two exceptions. Objective improvements in greenery were associated with smaller decline in adolescents' leisure time cycling, and improvements in perceived greenery were related to a decrease in adults' depressive symptoms. In addition, there were several subgroup effects. In conclusion, changes in greenery did not yield consistent positive results among residents of severely deprived neighborhoods. However, there are some indications regarding positive effects of greenery in certain subgroups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
JournalHealth & Place
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Greenery
  • Deprived neighborhood
  • Physical activity
  • Depressive symptoms

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