Journal article Open Access

Outdoor blue spaces, human health and well-being: A systematic review of quantitative studies

Gascon, Mireia; Zijlema, Wilma; Vert, Cristina; White, Mathew; Nieuwenshuijsen, Mark


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{
  "DOI": "10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.08.004", 
  "container_title": "International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health", 
  "language": "eng", 
  "title": "Outdoor blue spaces, human health and well-being: A systematic review of quantitative studies", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
      [
        2017, 
        8, 
        18
      ]
    ]
  }, 
  "abstract": "<p><strong>Abstract</strong></p>\n\n<p>Background: a growing number of quantitative studies have investigated the potential benefits of outdoor blue spaces (lakes, rivers, sea, etc) and human health, but there is not yet a systematic review synthesizing this evidence.</p>\n\n<p>Objectives: to systematically review the current quantitative evidence on human health and well-being benefits of outdoor blue spaces.</p>\n\n<p>Methods: following PRISMA guidelines for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analysis, observational and experimental quantitative studies focusing on both residential and non-residential outdoor blue space exposure were searched using specific keywords.</p>\n\n<p>Results: in total 35 studies were included in the current systematic review, most of them being classified as of &ldquo;good quality&rdquo; (N=22). The balance of evidence suggested a positive association between greater exposure to outdoor blue spaces and both benefits to mental health and well-being (N=12 studies) and levels of physical activity (N=13 studies). The evidence of an association between outdoor blue space exposure and general health (N= 6 studies), obesity (N=8 studies) and cardiovascular (N=4 studies) and related outcomes was less consistent.</p>\n\n<p>Conclusions: although encouraging, there remains relatively few studies and a large degree of heterogeneity in terms of study design, exposure metrics and outcome measures, making synthesis difficult. Further research is needed using longitudinal research and natural experiments, preferably across a broader range of countries, to better understand the causal associations between blue spaces, health and wellbeing.</p>", 
  "author": [
    {
      "family": "Gascon, Mireia"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Zijlema, Wilma"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Vert, Cristina"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "White, Mathew"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "Nieuwenshuijsen, Mark"
    }
  ], 
  "page": "1207-1221", 
  "volume": "220", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "issue": "November 2017", 
  "id": "1434290"
}
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