Urban natural environments and motor development in early life
Journal article

Publication Details

Author list: Kabisch N., Alonso L., Dadvand P., van den Bosch M.
Journal: Environmental Research
Publication year: 2019
Volume number: 179
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0013-9351
Languages: English-Great Britain

Abstract

An emerging body of evidence has associated natural environments with improved brain development in children; however, these studies have mainly focused on cognition and available evidence for motor development is still scarce. This study aimed to evaluate the protective association of neighbourhood greenspace with motor development deficits in children. We obtained data on motor development deficits (separately for fine and gross motor developments) at sub-district level from routine medical check-up of children prior to enrolment into primary schools in the city of Berlin (2015–2016). Neighbourhood natural environments across the sub-districts were measured with three different metrics: the average of satellite-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), the share of public green spaces, and the share of both public blue and green spaces (composite nature) across the sub-district. We applied negative binominal models to estimate the association between neighbourhood natural environments and fine and gross motor development deficits (one at a time), controlled for relevant sociodemographic indicators. Higher neighbourhood public green space and composite nature were significantly associated with lower risk of motor development deficits; however, the association were not statistically significant when using NDVI. Our findings, if confirmed by future studies, could provide evidence for implementing targeted interventions to enhance motor development in urban children.


Authors/Editors