Brenna Franco

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version

April 2021


Environmental greenness is often associated with improved psychological outcomes, but the use of green space as a protective factor for maintaining physiologic health is understudied. However, growing evidence exists on the benefit of greenness on physiologic health. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of green space on the physiologic function of the adult. Cohort studies were searched for that had all elements of inclusion criteria. Six final studies were included in this systematic review utilizing PRISMA guidelines and CASP tool for cohort studies. Data from the studies was collected and a cross study analysis was conducted to compare all studies and assess for themes in study outcomes. Results of this review demonstrate that green space has a protective effect on physiologic health. Areas with higher levels of greenness are associated with lower prevalence of central obesity, diabetes mellitus, and self-reported rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke as well as decreased rates of mortality from cancers, and kidney and respiratory diseases. Implications of this study include the importance in understanding risk factors for development of disease. Awareness of a patient’s environment that includes natural spaces should be identified as a potential risk factor for the development of cardiovascular illness, obesity, and diabetes mellitus.

Included in

Nursing Commons