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Scand J Public Health. 2013 Dec;41(8):846-52. doi: 10.1177/1403494813499459. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Association between neighbourhood green space and sedentary leisure time in a Danish population.

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  • 11Research Centre for Prevention and Health, The Capital Region of Denmark, Glostrup, Denmark.



Sedentary behaviour is a risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc., independently of level of physical activity. Availability of recreational green space is associated with physical activity, but is unknown in relation to sedentary behaviour. The aim of this study is to examine the association between availability of green space and sedentary leisure time in a Danish population.


The study was based on a random sample of 49,806 adults aged 16 + who answered a questionnaire in 2010, including sedentary leisure time. Objective measures of density green were calculated for each respondent using Geographical Information System (GIS). A multilevel regression analysis, taking neighbourhood and individual factors into account, was performed.


65% of the respondents were sedentary in leisure time for more than 3h/day. We found that poor availability of forest and recreational facilities in the neighbourhood is associated with more sedentary leisure time; OR: 1.11 (95% CL: 1.04-1.19), after adjusting for individual, and neighbourhood, level characteristics.


Among adult inhabitants, sedentary leisure time of more than 3h/day was more frequent in neighbourhoods with less green surroundings. Intervention efforts may benefit from emphasising the importance of having recreations options in residential areas to provide alternatives to sedentary activities.


Behavioral epidemiology; Geographical Information System (GIS); green space; multilevel regression; sedentary behavior

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