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Open AccessArticle

Natural Landscape, Infrastructure, and Health: The Physical Activity Implications of Urban Green Space Composition among the Elderly

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Geography Department and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-1820 CA, USA
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Environment and Human Health Lab (EH2 Lab) and Institute of Environmental Sc +ience and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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ISGlobal (Barcelona Institute for Global Health), Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Environment and Human Health Lab (EH2 Lab) and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Research Unit for Active Living, Department of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, 5230, Denmark
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Geography Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203986
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 15 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green Spaces)
Urban green spaces (UGS) have been linked with a series of benefits for the environment, and for the physical health and well-being of urban residents. This is of great importance in the context of the aging of modern societies. However, UGS have different forms and characteristics that can determine their utilization. Common elements in UGS such as the type of vegetation and the type of surface are surprisingly understudied in regard to their relationship with the type of activity undertaken in UGS. This paper aims to explore the relationship between landscape diversity and the type of surface with the time spent and the physical activity intensity performed by seniors. To do so, this study uses GPS tracking data in combination with accelerometer data gathered from 63 seniors residing in Barcelona, Spain. Results showed that senior participants spent little time inside the analyzed UGS and sedentary behaviors (SBs) were more common than physical activities (PAs). The presence of pavement surfaces positively influenced the total time spent in UGS while gravel surfaces were negatively associated with time spent in active behaviors. The provision of well-defined and maintained paved areas and paths are some key infrastructures to be considered when designing UGS for overall urban residents and, especially, when aiming to potentiate the access for senior visitors. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban green spaces; physical activity; seniors; landscape; Barcelona urban green spaces; physical activity; seniors; landscape; Barcelona
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Miralles-Guasch, C.; Dopico, J.; Delclòs-Alió, X.; Knobel, P.; Marquet, O.; Maneja-Zaragoza, R.; Schipperijn, J.; Vich, G. Natural Landscape, Infrastructure, and Health: The Physical Activity Implications of Urban Green Space Composition among the Elderly. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3986.

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