Does time spent on visits to green space mediate the associations between the level of residential greenness and mental health?

Magdalena van den Berg, Mireille van Poppel, Graham Smith, Margarita Triguero-Mas, Sandra Andrusaityte, Irene van Kamp, Willem van Mechelen, Christopher Gidlow, Regina Gražulevičiene, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, Hanneke Kruize, Jolanda Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The objective of the current study was to explore whether time spent visiting green space near home acts as a mediator in the association between level of residential greenness and perceived mental health. Methods Questionnaire data and satellite data of residential greenness were gathered in four European cities (total n = 3748): Barcelona (SP), Doetinchem (NL), Kaunas (LT) and Stoke-on-Trent (UK). Results Mediation analyses showed that time spent visiting green space near home was a weak, but statistically significant, mediator in the pooled data and in the Dutch sample only. Conclusions The findings provide little support for the hypothesis that purposeful visits are a mediator linking indirectly greenness with mental health. More research is needed to explore other mediators related to different exposure pathways, such as visual exposure, and alternative mechanisms, such as (perceived) safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Green space
  • Mediation
  • Mental health
  • Residential greenness
  • Time spent on visits

Cite this