Minute level smartphone derived exposure to greenness and consumer wearable derived physical activity in a cohort of US women.

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Inconsistent results have been found in the literature on associations of greenness, or vegetation quantity, and physical activity. However, few studies have assessed associations between mobility-based greenness and physical activity from mobile health data from smartphone and wearable devices with fine spatial and temporal resolution.


We assessed mobility-based greenness exposure and wearable accelerometer data from participants in the US-based prospective Nurses' Health Study 3 cohort Mobile Health (mHealth) Substudy (2018-2020). We recruited 500 female participants with instructions to wear devices over four 7-day sampling periods equally spaced throughout the year. After restriction criteria there were 337 participants (mean age 36 years) with n = 639,364 unique observations. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data were derived from 30 m x 30 m Landsat-8 imagery and spatially joined to GPS points recorded every 10 min. Fitbit proprietary algorithms provided physical activity summarized as mean number of steps per minute, which we averaged during the 10-min period following a GPS-based greenness exposure assessment. We utilized Generalized Additive Mixed Models to examine associations (every 10 min) between greenness and physical activity adjusting for neighborhood and individual socioeconomic status, Census region, season, neighborhood walkability, daily mean temperature and precipitation. We assessed effect modification through stratification and interaction models and conducted sensitivity analyses.


Mean 10-min step count averaged 7.0 steps (SD 14.9) and greenness (NDVI) averaged 0.3 (SD 0.2). Contrary to our hypotheses, higher greenness exposure was associated non-linearly with lower mean steps per minute after adjusting for confounders. We observed statistically significant effect modification by Census region and season.


We utilized objective physical activity data at fine temporal and spatial scales to present novel estimates of the association between mobility-based greenness and step count. We found higher levels of greenness were inversely associated with steps per minute.

Environ Res
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Minute level smartphone derived exposure to greenness and consumer wearable derived physical activity in a cohort of US women.
Wilt GE, Roscoe C, Hu CR, Mehta UV, Coull BA, Hart JE, Gortmaker S, Laden F, James P