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Title (Primary) Physiological and psychological effects of visits to different urban green and street environments in older people: A field experiment in a dense inner-city area
Author Kabisch, N.; Püffel, C.; Masztalerz, O.; Hemmerling, J.; Kraemer, R.
Journal Landscape and Urban Planning
Year 2021
Department SUSOZ; MET
Volume 207
Page From art. 103998
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Park; Elderly; Trees; Brownfield; Revitalisation; Heart rate; POMS; SDNN; Cardiovascular health; Physical activity; Cardiovascular prevention
Abstract Urbanisation and global ageing are both accelerating, posing older people’s mental and cardiovascular health at risk. A growing number of studies suggests beneficial health effects when having contact with urban green spaces. This study investigates the effects of short-term exposure of older people to different urban green and street environments on physiological and psychological parameters relevant for cardiovascular health. A sample of 33 older men and women (mean age 63.5, standard deviation 4.2) was exposed to a long-standing urban park with widespread and old trees, to a newly developed park with diverse use opportunities and a busy street environment in the inner city of Leipzig, Germany. We measured heart rate variability using continuous ECG monitoring, blood pressure, mood using psychological questionnaires and perceived outcomes of restoration. We found significant decreases in systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure in the long-standing park indicating protective effects on cardiovascular health. Significant decreases in heart rate variability parameters were observed in the dense urban street environment indicating adverse effects on cardiovascular health. Level of naturalness and restoration experience were perceived highest in the old park reflecting common theories of restoration. In the light of these results, visiting urban green spaces should be considered as a valuable preventive measure for promoting cardiovascular health especially in older people. Although physical activity is considered by international recommendations for cardiovascular prevention, the combination with visits of green environments is yet to be implemented.
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=23981
Kabisch, N., Püffel, C., Masztalerz, O., Hemmerling, J., Kraemer, R. (2021):
Physiological and psychological effects of visits to different urban green and street environments in older people: A field experiment in a dense inner-city area
Landsc. Urban Plan. 207 , art. 103998