New Article: Perceptions of green space usage, abundance, and quality of green space were associated with better mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic among residents of Denver

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both physical and mental health. This study aimed to understand whether exposure to green space buffered against stress and distress during the COVID-19 pandemic while taking into account significant stressors of the pandemic.

We leveraged a cross-sectional survey on green space exposure and mental health among residents of Denver, CO that ran from November 2019 through January 2021. We measured objective green space as the average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) from aerial imagery within 300m and 500m of the participant’s residence. Perceived green space was measured through Likert scores on five questions about vegetation near the home that captured perceived abundance, visibility, access, usage, and quality of green space. We used generalized linear models to assess the relationship between each green space exposure variable and perceived stress (PSS-4), depression (CES-D-10), or anxiety (MMPI-2) adjusted for sociodemographic and COVID-19 impact variables. Read more about JPB Fellow Colleen Reid’s research.