Influence of urban green space and facility accessibility on exercise and healthy diet in Hong Kong

John W.M. Yuen, Katherine K.P. Chang, Frances K.Y. Wong, Fiona Y. Wong, Judy Y.M. Siu, H. C. Ho, M. S. Wong, Janice Y.S. Ho, K. L. Chan, Lin Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background A cross-sectional study using a convenience sampling method was conducted to understand how green space and accessibility of common public open spaces in compact urban areas affect physical activity and healthy diets of residents. Methods A total of 554 residents completed a structured questionnaire on quality of life, physical activity level and healthy eating practice. Particularly, categories of physical activity and durations were obtained by using the short form Chinese International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-C), then the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)-minutes/week was calculated using the formulae (walking minutes × walking days × 3.3) + (moderate-intensity activity minutes × moderate days × 4.0) + (vigorous-intensity activity minutes × vigorous-intensity days × 8.0). The percentage of green space was calculated based on a spatial buffer with a 500 m radius from participants’ geocoded addresses using a SPOT (‘Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre’ in French) satellite image-derived vegetation dataset. Parks, promenade and sports facilities were examples of open spaces. Results The sampled population who lived with green space averaged 10.11% ± 7.95% (ranged 1.56–32.90%), with the majority (90%) performing physical activities at medium and high levels. MET-minutes/week was significantly associated (Pearson r = 0.092; p < 0.05) with the green space percentage. Relatively active residents commonly used open spaces within the district for performing exercise, in particular, parks and promenades were mostly used by older residents, while sports facilities by the younger groups at age 25–44 and <25 years. Conclusions Current findings suggested promotion of exercise could be achieved by the design or redesign of built environment to include more parks accessible to the residents with the increase of vegetation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1514
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Exercise
  • Green space
  • Health promotion
  • International physical activity questionnaire
  • Metabolic Equivalent of Task
  • Open space
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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