Longitudinal study of changes in greenness exposure, physical activity and sedentary behavior in the ORISCAV-LUX cohort study

Juliette F.E. van Beek*, Laurent Malisoux, Olivier Klein, Torsten Bohn, Marion Tharrey, Frank J. Van Lenthe, Mariëlle A. Beenackers, Martin Dijst, Camille Perchoux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Greenness exposure has been associated with many health benefits, for example through the pathway of providing opportunities for physical activity (PA). Beside the limited body of longitudinal research, most studies overlook to what extent different types of greenness exposures may be associated with varying levels of PA and sedentary behavior (SB). In this study, we investigated associations of greenness characterized by density, diversity and vegetation type with self-reported PA and SB over a 9-year period, using data from the ORISCAV-LUX study (2007–2017, n = 628). Methods: The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form was used to collect PA and SB outcomes. PA was expressed as MET-minutes/week and log-transformed, and SB was expressed as sitting time in minutes/day. Geographic Information Systems (ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap) were used to collect the following exposure variables: Tree Cover Density (TCD), Soil-adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and Green Land Use Mix (GLUM). The exposure variables were derived from publicly available sources using remote sensing and cartographic resources. Greenness exposure was calculated within 1000m street network buffers around participants’ exact residential address. Results: Using Random Effects Within-Between (REWB) models, we found evidence of negative within-individual associations of TCD with PA (β = − 2.60, 95% CI − 4.75; − 0.44), and negative between-individual associations of GLUM and PA (β = − 2.02, 95% CI − 3.73; − 0.32). There was no evidence for significant associations between greenness exposure and SB. Significant interaction effects by sex were present for the associations between TCD and both PA and SB. Neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) did not modify the effect of greenness exposure on PA and SB in the 1000 m buffer. Discussion: Our results showed that the relationship between greenness exposure and PA depended on the type of greenness measure used, which stresses the need for the use of more diverse and complementary greenness measures in future research. Tree vegetation and greenness diversity, and changes therein, appeared to relate to PA, with distinct effects among men and women. Replication studies are needed to confirm the relevance of using different greenness measures to understand its’ different associations with PA and SB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Geographics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024


  • Green diversity
  • Longitudinal study
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Social inequalities
  • Soil-adjusted vegetation index
  • Tree cover density


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