Green Space and Physical Activity in Pregnant Women: Evidence From the Growing Up in New Zealand Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Exposure to green space has been associated with increased physical activity. However, it is not clear whether this association is because active people preferentially live in greener areas. Relationships between exposure to green space and physical activity during pregnancy are not well defined. Our objective was to determine whether exposure to green space was associated with physical activity in pregnant women.

Methods:

The current study was completed within the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort study of 6772 pregnant women. The proportion of green space in each census area unit was determined and geocoded to residential address. The association between exposure to green space and physical activity was determined using logistic regression analyses after controlling for confounding variables.

Results:

Exposure to green space was not associated with participation in physical activity during first trimester and the remainder of pregnancy once preference for living in greener neighborhoods was taken into account.

Conclusions:

The lack of association between green space and physical activity found in this study does not necessarily mean that living in green space will not translate into better pregnancy health. Preference for living in greener neighborhoods should be considered when investigating relationships between green space and physical activity.

Nichani and Dirks are with the Section of Epidemiology and Statistics, School of Population Health; Burns is with the School of Biological Sciences; Bird, Morton, and Grant are with the Centre for Longitudinal Research he Ara ki Mua, School of Population Health; University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Grant is also with the Dept of Pediatrics: Child and Youth Health, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; and General Pediatrics, Starship Children’s Hospital, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand.

Nichani (vnic041@aucklanduni.ac.nz) is corresponding author.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health