How Greenspace Works: Which Factors Deliver the Best Health and Well-being

The University of Queensland

Evidence has suggested that exposure to greenspace may offer global effects on a range of health outcomes. However, limited information is known about its influence on pathological mechanisms. One plausible pathway in which greenspace may exert its positive effect on health is via increased sun exposure and consequent Vitamin D increases. Therefore, we aim to understand how greenspace works by looking at:

  • a) the relationship between a specific type of greenspace and physical activity, residential air pollution, residential noise pollution, social support, and psychosocial factors;
  • b) spatial variation of greenspace exposure and vitamin D levels across the UK;
  • c) the association between residential greenness and vitamin D concentrations;
  • d) the link between greenspace exposure, vitamin D levels and risk of cardiorespiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity using system dynamic models.

The UK Biobank study was designed to progress the prevention, management, and treatment of several life-threatening diseases, and our proposed research closely aligns with this goal. Given the limited information on how greenspace impacts a range of health outcomes, a large dataset like this one will provide a unique opportunity to better understand this relationship and trial sophisticated modelling approaches (spatial and system dynamic models) while taking into account a range of risk/ confounding factors.

Project members

Chinonso Odebeatu

PhD Candidate

A/Prof Nicholas Osborne

Theme Leader, Environmental Health Epidemiology