Green Spaces Associated with Less Frailty in Older Adults
Pleasant, green community environments are increasingly recognized as influencing physical activity for their residents. According to a new study in the June issue of JAMDA, neighborhoods with a higher percentage of green space also are associated with improvements in frailty status for older people.
In “Is Neighborhood Green Space Associated With Less Frailty? Evidence of Mr. and Ms. Os (Hong Kong) Study,” the researchers measured the frailty status of participants and the amount of green space/vegetation around their residence, then followed up with them 2 years later. They found that the frailty status of participants living in neighborhoods with more than 34% green space at baseline was more likely to show improvement during follow-up. In addition, the association between green space and frailty risk was stronger among men than women.
“Although green space may promote higher levels of physical activity and, in turn, better health, better well-being, and lower risk of frailty, other mechanisms such as reduced air pollution are likely to be pertinent,” the authors said. They observed that their findings could have significant implications for community planning policies and neighborhood design and that their study may encourage the use of green spaces to promote health and prevent frailty in aging populations. The authors suggested that further research is needed to understand which characteristics of green space have the strongest influence on frailty.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Hong Kong, the CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Aging at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and Control at the University of Hong Kong, the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit www.jamda.com for more information.
About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.