Perception of safety is a prerequisite for the association between neighbourhood green qualities and physical activity: Results from a cross-sectional study in Sweden

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Abstract

In this study, we assess how the Scania Green Score (SGS5), and the five distinct perceived neighbourhood green dimensions within this area-aggregated index (1 km2 squares), is associated with self-reported physical activity and general health, and if perceived safety and social coherence has a moderating effect. Two independent surveys, both conducted in Scania, Sweden, was used for data on SGS5 and health outcomes (N=28 198 and N=23 693), respectively. SGS5 was more clearly associated with physical activity (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.02–1.10) than with general health (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.04). This association was moderated by safety (p for interaction <0.001); SGS5 was positively associated with physical activity only among individuals who perceived high safety in their neighbourhood (OR 1.07; 95% CI 1.02–1.11). No moderating effect was seen for social coherence. Among specific dimensions, cultural history was positively associated with both physical activity and general health. Our results suggest that perception of safety is a prerequisite for the positive effects of neighbourhood green qualities.

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