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Active commuting through natural environments is associated with better mental health: Results from the PHENOTYPE project

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dc.contributor.author Zijlema, Wilma
dc.contributor.author Avila-Palencia, Ione, 1985-
dc.contributor.author Triguero Mas, Margarita, 1985-
dc.contributor.author Gidlow, Christopher J.
dc.contributor.author Maas, Jolanda
dc.contributor.author Kruize, Hanneke
dc.contributor.author Andrušaitytė, Sandra
dc.contributor.author Gražulevičienė, Regina
dc.contributor.author Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-16T08:43:34Z
dc.date.available 2020-01-16T08:43:34Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.citation Zijlema WL, Avila-Palencia I, Triguero-Mas M, Gidlow C, Maas J, Kruize H et al. Active commuting through natural environments is associated with better mental health: Results from the PHENOTYPE project. Environ Int. 2018;121(Pt 1):721-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.10.002
dc.identifier.issn 0160-4120
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/43301
dc.description.abstract Background: Commuting routes with natural features could promote walking or cycling for commuting. Commuting through natural environments (NE) could have mental health benefits as exposure to NE can reduce stress and improve mental health, but there is little evidence. This study evaluates the association between NE and commuting, whether active or not, and the association between commuting (through NE), whether active or not, and mental health. We also evaluate the moderating effect of NE quality on the association between NE commuting and mental health. Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on adult respondents (n = 3599) of the Positive Health Effects of the Natural Outdoor Environment in Typical Populations in Different Regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE) project. Data were collected in four European cities in Spain, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. Data on commuting behavior (active commuting at least one day/week, daily NE commuting) and mental health were collected with questionnaires. Associations were estimated with multilevel analyses including random intercepts at city- and neighborhood level. Results: Adjusted multilevel analyses showed that daily NE commuters were more often active commuters (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.19, 1.70). There was no association between active commuting and mental health, but daily NE commuters had on average a 2.74 (95% CI 1.66, 3.82) point higher mental health score than those not commuting through NE. The association with mental health was stronger among active commuters (4.03, 95% CI 2.13, 5.94) compared to non-active commuters (2.21; 95% CI 0.90, 3.51) when daily commuting through NE, but NE quality did not have a moderating effect. Conclusions: Daily NE commuting was associated with better mental health, especially for active commuters. Daily NE commuters were likely to be active commuters. Active commuting itself was not associated with mental health. These findings suggest that cities should invest in commuting routes with nature for cycling and walking.
dc.description.sponsorship The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 282996. W.L. Zijlema is supported by a Sara Borrell grant from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CD17/00195).
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Elsevier
dc.relation.ispartof Environment International. 2018;121(Pt 1):721-7
dc.rights © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
dc.title Active commuting through natural environments is associated with better mental health: Results from the PHENOTYPE project
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.10.002
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/282996
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion


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