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Health Place. 2009 Jun;15(2):586-595. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

Social contacts as a possible mechanism behind the relation between green space and health.

Author information

1
NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), P.O. Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.maas@nivel.nl.
2
CIZ, P.O. Box 232, NL-3970 AE Driebergen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: sonja.van.dillen@ciz.nl.
3
NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), P.O. Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.verheij@nivel.nl.
4
NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), P.O. Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Human Geography and Department of Sociology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, NL-3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: p.groenewegen@nivel.nl.

Abstract

This study explored whether social contacts are an underlying mechanism behind the relationship between green space and health. We measured social contacts and health in 10,089 residents of the Netherlands and calculated the percentage of green within 1 and a 3km radius around the postal code coordinates for each individual's address. After adjustment for socio-economic and demographic characteristics, less green space in people's living environment coincided with feelings of loneliness and with perceived shortage of social support. Loneliness and perceived shortage of social support partly mediated the relation between green space and health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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