Effects of trail and greenspace exposure on hospitalizations in a highly populated urban area: retrospective cohort study of the Houston Bayou Greenways 2020 program.
Purpose and design: To examine the health benefits of Houston’s Bayou Greenway trail system. Researchers examined the number of years residents in each zip code had trail access, the number of access points, and percentage of the population in a zip code living within a 10-minute walk of a trail. This data was compared to hospital admissions for health conditions from those zip codes.
Key findings: Residents of Houston zip codes with Bayou Greenway trail access had a significantly lower likelihood of being admitted to the hospital for heart disease, heart attack, and obesity related conditions (71% to 93%) than neighborhoods without access.
Impact: These findings demonstrate that trail access improves health outcomes and reduces overall healthcare costs. It provides the data for policy makers, philanthropists, developers, and community leaders to make informed investments in trail access for healthy communities.
Publication: Simon-Friedt, BR, Pan, AP, Nisar, T, Al-Kindi, S, Nunley, A, Graiff, L, Kash, BA, Maddock, JE, Nasir, K. (2022). Effects of trail and greenspace exposure on hospitalizations in a highly populated urban area: retrospective cohort study of the Houston Bayou Greenways 2020 program. Local Environment, 28 (3), 365-378.