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Long-Term Green Space Exposure and Cognition Across the Life Course: a Systematic Review


An accumulating body of evidence is suggestive for health-promoting effects of exposure to natural environments including green spaces. We aimed to systematically review the available observational evidence on the association between long-term exposure to green space and cognition over the life course. PubMed and Scopus were searched using a combination of green space and cognition keywords. Original research articles of observational studies on the association between green space exposure and cognition were collected. The quality of available studies was assessed using available frameworks. The review identified 13 studies meeting the selection criteria. Considering the limited number of available studies, most of poor or fair quality, the existing evidence on the association between green spaces and cognition can be considered as inadequate; however, it is suggestive for beneficial associations between such an exposure and cognitive development in childhood and cognitive function in adulthood.

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Correspondence to Carmen de Keijzer.

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Carmen de Keijzer, Mireia Gascon, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, and Payam Dadvand declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Early Life Environmental Health

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de Keijzer, C., Gascon, M., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J. et al. Long-Term Green Space Exposure and Cognition Across the Life Course: a Systematic Review. Curr Envir Health Rpt 3, 468–477 (2016).

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  • Green space
  • Cognition
  • Attention
  • Life course
  • Built environment
  • Dementia