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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    "description": "<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>", 
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    "title": "Outdoor blue spaces, human health and well-being: A systematic review of quantitative studies", 
    "license": {
      "id": "CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0"
    }, 
    "journal": {
      "volume": "220", 
      "issue": "November 2017", 
      "pages": "1207-1221", 
      "title": "International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health"
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    "language": "eng", 
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        "title": "Linking Up Environment, Health and Climate for Inter-sector Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in a Rapidly Changing Environment", 
        "acronym": "BlueHealth", 
        "program": "H2020", 
        "funder": {
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    "keywords": [
      "outdoor", 
      "blue spaces", 
      "health", 
      "well-being"
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    "publication_date": "2017-08-18", 
    "creators": [
      {
        "affiliation": "ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Cl\u00ednic - Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain", 
        "name": "Gascon, Mireia"
      }, 
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        "affiliation": "ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Cl\u00ednic - Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain", 
        "name": "Zijlema, Wilma"
      }, 
      {
        "affiliation": "ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Cl\u00ednic - Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain", 
        "name": "Vert, Cristina"
      }, 
      {
        "affiliation": "European Centre for Environment & Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, UK", 
        "name": "White, Mathew"
      }, 
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        "affiliation": "ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Cl\u00ednic - Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain", 
        "name": "Nieuwenshuijsen, Mark"
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