To investigate the associations between green space and health, health-related quality of life and stress, respectively.
Data were derived from the 2005 Danish Health Interview Survey and are based on a region-stratified random sample of 21,832 adults. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews followed by a self-administered questionnaire, including the SF-36, which measures eight dimensions of health and the Perceived Stress Scale, which measures self-reported stress. A total of 11,238 respondents completed the interview and returned the questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the association between distance to green space and self-perceived stress.
Danes living more than 1 km away from the nearest green space report poorer health and health-related quality of life, i.e. lower mean scores on all eight SF-36 dimensions of health than respondents living closer. Respondents living more than 1 km away from a green space have 1.42 higher odds of experiencing stress than do respondents living less than 300 m from a green space. Respondents not reporting stress are more likely to visit a green space than are respondents reporting stress. Reasons for visiting green spaces differ significantly depending on whether or not respondents experience stress. Respondents reporting stress are likely to use green spaces to reduce stress.
An association between distance to a green space and health and health-related quality of life was found. Further, the results indicate awareness among Danes that green spaces may be of importance in managing stress and that green spaces may play an important role as health-promoting environments.