Are green spaces bad for you?

By , Blogger for The Christian Science Monitor

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    Joggers take to the path at McKinley Park in Sacramento, Calif.
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File this one under Go Figure: A new study has found that people who live near green spaces tend to get out and exercise less than people who don't.

A team of Dutch researchers set out to determine whether a green living environment encourages people to exercise. Their paper, titled Physical activity as a possible mechanism behind the relationship between green space and health: a multilevel analysis and published in the journal BioMed Central Public Health, found no relationship between whether a person lives near a green space and whether he or she participates in sports. The researchers found a negative relationship between green spaces and cycling or walking.

People with 20 percent green space in a three-kilometer radius walked about 250 minutes a week for leisure, the study found, whereas people with 80 percent green space in a three-kilometer radius walked about 190 minutes a week – an hour less.

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Reuters spoke with researcher Jolanda Maas, who led the study. She speculated that people in less-urban environments need to use their cars more to get around.

The Telegraph points out that this study contradicts previous studies on the relationship between green spaces and exercise:

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