"Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries."

- Ron Finley


New Publication


Increased urban greenness associated with improved mental health

Some studies suggest that residential surrounding greenness is associated with improved mental health. Few of these studies have focussed on middle-aged and older adults, explored the modifying effects of social determinants of health, or accounted for the extent to which individuals interact with their neighbourhood environments.

We analysed cross-sectional data collected from 26,811 urban participants of the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging who were between 45 and 86 years of age. Participants provided details on socioeconomic characteristics, health behaviours, and their frequency of neighbourhood interactions. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of greenness, was assigned to participants’ residential addresses at a buffer distance of 500 m. Regression models were used to describe associations between greenness and these outcomes, and spline models were fit to characterize the exposure-response function between greenness and CES-D-10 scores. In adjusted models, we observed a 5% (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.90, 0.99) reduced odds of depressive symptoms in relation to an interquartile range increase of NDVI (0.06) within a 500 m buffer of participant's residence. Similarly, we found an inverse association with a self-reported clinical diagnosis of depression (OR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.92–1.01). Increases in surrounding greenness were associated with improved perceptions of mental health, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. 

About Daniel


I'm Daniel Rainham, an associate professor at Dalhousie University. I work with a fantastic team of trainees and colleagues to explore the relationships between the quality of the environment and human health. The quality of the environment can be beneficial, like when we take time to immerse ourselves in nature; or, it can be detrimental such as when we are exposed to harmful contaminants.


My research is focused on measuring the characteristics of the environment, investigating how these characteristics affect our health, and experimenting with solutions and interventions toward a sustainable, healthy lifespan. If this type of work sounds interesting or even fascinating to you then please get in touch.


I'm always looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to join or support the team. Opportunities.