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Research article2017Peer reviewed

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

Weimann, Hanna; Rylander, Lars; van den Bosch, Matilda Annerstedt; Albin, Maria; Skarback, Erik; Grahn, Patrik; Bjork, Jonas


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 km(2) 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.


Green quality; Green space; Physical activity; General health; Neighbourhood safety; Neighbourhood social coherence

Published in

Health and Place
2017, Volume: 45, pages: 124-130