Terry Hartig

Terry Hartig
Uppsala University | UU · Institute for Housing and Urban Research

PhD in Social Ecology

About

169
Publications
191,796
Reads
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21,864
Citations
Citations since 2016
53 Research Items
14973 Citations
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Introduction
Most of my research concerns restorative environments - those places in which we can recover relatively quickly and completely from ordinary psychological wear-and-tear. The places on which I focus in my research are those which most people care about deeply and turn to frequently - home, neighborhood, and natural settings such as forests. The fundamental intent in all of these efforts is to inform environmental and policy measures that promote health and well-being.
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - December 2010
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Position
  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Psychology
August 1993 - July 1996
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 1984 - August 1993
University of California, Irvine
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
Full-text available
The setting matters in meditation, but most research has neglected it. Many mindfulness-based health interventions emphasize effortful attention training exercises in sparsely furnished indoor settings. However, many beginners with attention regulation problems struggle with the exercises and drop out. In contrast, restoration skills training (ReST...
Article
Background: Inadequate translation from theoretical to statistical models of the greenspace – health relationship may lead to incorrect conclusions about the importance of some pathways, which in turn may reduce the effectiveness of public health interventions involving urban greening. In this scoping review we aimed to: (1) summarize the general c...
Article
Full-text available
Background Urban greening may reduce loneliness by offering opportunities for solace, social reconnection and supporting processes such as stress relief. We (i) assessed associations between residential green space and cumulative incidence of, and relief from, loneliness over 4 years; and (ii) explored contingencies by age, sex, disability and coha...
Chapter
Full-text available
The restoration perspective on human adaptation offers a broad view of relations between environment and health; however, it remains underutilized as a source of insight for nature-and-health studies. In this chapter, I start from the restoration perspective in showing ways to extend theory and research concerned with the benefits of nature experie...
Article
Scholarly literature claims that health declines in populations when optimism about investing in the future wanes. This claim leads us to describe collective optimism as a predictor of selection in utero. Based on the literature, we argue that the incidence of suicide gauges collective optimism in a population and therefore willingness to invest in...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration skills training (ReST) is a mindfulness-based course in which participants draw support from a natural practice setting while they learn to meditate. Well-established conventional mindfulness training (CMT) can improve psychological functioning but many perceive it as demanding and fail to sustain practice habits. Applying non-inferiori...
Article
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Persistent loneliness troubles people across the life span, with prevalence as high as 61 % in some groups. Urban greening may help to reduce the population health impacts of loneliness and its concomitants, such as hopelessness and despair. However, the literature lacks both a critical appraisal of extant evidence and a conceptual model to explain...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urban greening may help to reduce the population health impacts of loneliness and its concomitants, such as hopelessness and despair. However, the literature lacks both a critical appraisal of extant evidence and a conceptual model to explain how green space would work as a structural intervention. Both are needed to guide decision making and furth...
Chapter
Full-text available
People deplete adaptive resources in facing the demands of everyday life, and environments differ in the support they afford for renewal of depleted resources. Environments that promote the renewal of adaptive resources, called restorative environments, have attracted attention in diverse disciplines. Both theoretically and practically, work with r...
Article
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Background and Objectives The suspicion that a population stressor as profound as the COVID-19 pandemic would increase preterm birth among cohorts in gestation at its outset has not been supported by data collected in 2020. An evolutionary perspective on this circumstance suggests that natural selection in utero, induced by the onset of the pandemi...
Article
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The coronavirus pandemic entailed varying restrictions on access, movement and social behavior in populations around the world. Knowledge about how people coped with “soft-touch” restrictions can inform urban spatial planning strategies that enhance resilience against future pandemics. We analyzed data from an online place- based survey on 2845 pla...
Article
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Much theory asserts that sexual intimacy sustains mental health. Experimental tests of such theory remain rare and have not provided compelling evidence because ethical, practical, and cultural constraints bias samples and results. An epidemiologic approach would, therefore, seem indicated given the rigor the discipline brings to quasi-experimental...
Article
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Many call for a broad approach to valuation of nature’s contribution to people, one that provides a contextualized understanding of what may be experienced as a value in different cultures, groups and settings. In the present paper we address contributions of nature to psychological well-being as realized through restorative processes during encoun...
Article
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Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, research into how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, a better mechanistic understanding of the range of pathways through which biodiversity...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, understanding of how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, we need a better grasp on the range of pathways through which biodiversity can influ...
Article
Full-text available
Accumulating evidence indicates that simulated natural settings can engage mechanisms that promote health. Simulations offer alternatives to actual natural settings for populations unable to travel outdoors safely; however, few studies have contrasted the effects of simulations of natural settings to their actual outdoor counterparts. We compared t...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration skills training (ReST) is a mindfulness-based course that draws on restorative nature experience to facilitate the meditation practice and teach widely applicable adaptation skills. Previous studies comparing ReST to conventional mindfulness training (CMT) showed that ReST has important advantages: it supports beginning meditators in co...
Article
Full-text available
Background Concerns about loss of greenspace with urbanisation motivate much research on nature and health; however, contingency of greenspace-health associations on the character of community change remains understudied. Methods With aggregate data from governmental sources for 1432 Swedish parishes, we used negative binomial regression to estima...
Article
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A growing body of empirical evidence is revealing the value of nature experience for mental health. With rapid urbanization and declines in human contact with nature globally, crucial decisions must be made about how to preserve and enhance opportunities for nature experience. Here, we first provide points of consensus across the natural, social, a...
Article
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Background: The quality of the places where workers take their breaks may affect the completeness of recovery in the time available. Little is known about how characteristics of a company canteen buffer the relationship between job demands and fatigue. Objective: We addressed the possibility that the company canteen buffers the relationship betw...
Article
Full-text available
Spending time in natural environments can benefit health and well-being, but exposure-response relationships are under-researched. We examined associations between recreational nature contact in the last seven days and self-reported health and well-being. Participants (n = 19,806) were drawn from the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environme...
Article
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Engagement with nature is an important part of many people’s lives, and the health and wellbeing benefits of nature–based activities are becoming increasingly recognised across disciplines from city planning to medicine. Despite this, urbanisation, challenges of modern life and environmental degradation are leading to a reduction in both the quanti...
Article
We investigated the extent to which the amount of sky and other contents affect expectations that window views will support psychological restoration in an urban context. The study involved 102 digital view images across which the amount of sky and other contents were varied systematically through manipulation of variables relevant to urban densifi...
Article
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Accumulating evidence indicates that time spent in natural environments promotes creativity, but few researchers have considered how this occurs. We evaluate two candidate mechanisms, attention restoration and mind wandering. We compare the accounts in terms of attentional focus, brain network activation, cognitive effects, and the temporal progres...
Article
Background: A growing body of scientific literature indicates that urban green- and bluespace support mental health; however, little research has attempted to address the complexities in likely interrelations among the pathways through which benefits plausibly are realized. Objectives: The present study examines how different plausible pathways be...
Article
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Environmental strategies of affect regulation refer to the use of natural and urban socio-physical settings in the service of regulation. We investigated the perceived use and efficacy of environmental strategies for regulation of general affect and sadness, considering them in relation to other affect regulation strategies and to subjective well-b...
Article
Mindfulness courses conventionally use effortful, focused meditation to train attention. In contrast, natural settings can effortlessly support state mindfulness and restore depleted attention resources, which could facilitate meditation. We performed two studies that compared conventional training with restoration skills training (ReST) that taugh...
Article
Background: Urban greenspace can benefit mental health through multiple mechanisms. They may work together, but previous studies have treated them as independent. Objectives: We aimed to compare single and parallel mediation models, which estimate the independent contributions of different paths, to several models that posit serial mediation compo...
Article
Background: In a rapidly urbanizing world, many people have little contact with natural environments, which may affect health and well-being. Existing reviews generally conclude that residential greenspace is beneficial to health. However, the processes generating these benefits and how they can be best promoted remain unclear. Objectives: Durin...
Article
Do behavioral measures of ecological lifestyles reflect actual environmental impact? Three convenience samples of German adults (N = 881) completed such a measure, the General Ecological Behavior (GEB) scale. Their household electricity consumption was self-reported (Study 1), assessed by a smart-meter (Study 2), or reported by the power company (S...
Article
Full-text available
Music listening may evoke meaningful emotions in listeners and may enhance certain health benefits. At the same time, it is important to consider individual differences, such as musical taste, when examining musical emotions and in considering their possible health effects. In a field experiment, 21 women listened to their own preferred music on mp...
Chapter
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This in-depth survey of salutogenesis shows the breadth and strengths of this innovative perspective on health promotion, health care, and wellness. Background and historical chapters trace the development of the salutogenic model of health, and flesh out the central concepts, most notably generalized resistance resources and the sense of coherence...
Article
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Emerging theory and empirical work suggest that the ‘Bruce Effect’, or the increase in spontaneous abortion observed in non-human species when environments become threatening to offspring survival, may also appear in humans. We argue that, if it does, the effect would appear in the odds of twins among male and female live births. We test the hypoth...
Chapter
The vast majority of people live in urbanized areas. These offer numerous advantages, such as access to a great variety of entertainment and cultural events, services such as educational and medical centers, and opportunities for mixing with different kinds of people in lively public places. Urbanized areas also challenge residents, however, with p...
Article
Full-text available
Mindfulness involves curious and detached attention to present experience. Long-term mindfulness practice can improve attentional control capabilities, but practice sessions may initially deplete attentional resources as beginners struggle to learn skills and manage distractions. Without using skills or effort, people can have mindful experiences i...
Conference Paper
The concept of ‘‘restorative environments’’ (Kaplan & Talbot, 1983) underlines the recovering power of places: to allow people to distract, to relax, to free their minds, and to distance themselves from ordinary aspects of life and work. The physical environment, as a job resource, provides psychological benefits in terms of attention restoration,...
Article
Natural features, settings, and processes in urban areas can help to reduce stress associated with urban life. In this and other ways, public health benefits from, street trees, green roofs, community gardens, parks and open spaces, and extensive connective pathways for walking and biking. Such urban design provisions can also yield ecological bene...
Article
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Traffic-related exposures may undermine the restorative character of the home, and this may in turn undermine health and residential satisfaction. We addressed this possibility with data for adults residing in a large valley near Innsbruck, Austria (N=572). We joined objective measures of traffic-related sound and air pollutants with reports from d...
Article
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Aims: To test the relationship between greenery in gardens at residential facilities for older people and the self-perceived health of residents, mediated by experiences of being away and fascination when in the garden and the frequency of visitation there. To examine how these indirect effects vary with the number of physical barriers to visiting...
Article
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Objectives: Given the need for knowledge on the restorative potential of urban settings, we sought to estimate the effects of personal and contextual factors on preferences and restoration likelihood assessments for different urban activities-in-environments. We also sought to study the generality of these effects across different countries. Meth...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers often invoke a mortality displacement or 'harvesting' mechanism to explain mortality patterns, such that those with underlying health vulnerabilities die sooner than expected in response to environmental phenomena, such as heat waves, cold spells and air pollution. It is unclear if this displacement mechanism might also explain observed...
Article
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Male twin gestations exhibit higher incidence of fetal morbidity and mortality than singleton gestations. From an evolutionary perspective, the relatively high rates of infant and child mortality among male twins born into threatening environments reduce the fitness of these gestations, making them more vulnerable to fetal loss. Women do not percei...
Article
Knowledge of how to increase the restorative quality of residential streetscapes may help to offset problems entailed by urban densification. The present study considered the effects of trees, grass, and flower beds on ratings of restoration likelihood for streetscapes. We used digital-imaging techniques to systematically vary these natural element...
Technical Report
Full-text available
An EU R&I agenda on nature-based solutions is an essential component to greening the economy and achieving sustainable development. To contribute to the development of this R&I agenda, the Expert Group on 'Nature-Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities' was commissioned. The expert group engaged in forward-looking reflection on future orientations f...
Article
Objectives: Depression and anxiety are commonly seen in patients with chronic pain which affects the patient's daily life functioning. Although considerable attention has been devoted to explain why depression and anxiety are frequent comorbid with chronic pain, little empirical work has been conducted on interventions that target depression and a...
Article
Introduction L’attitude envers la nature et l’attitude envers la protection de l’environnement constituent deux notions distinctes mais corrélées. Cependant, la stabilité/instabilité dans le temps de ces deux attitudes reste mal connue. Objectifs et méthodes À partir de données issues d’une enquête longitudinale menée auprès de 251 adultes, et int...
Article
We propose a conceptual model of how time pressure affects emotional well-being associated with mundane routine activities. A selective review of research in several areas affirms the plausibility of the conceptual model, which posits negative effects on emotional well-being of insufficient time allocated to restorative and other activities instrum...
Article
Full-text available
Much medical literature attributes persistently high rates of very low birthweight (VLBW) to "dysregulated" gestation. We offer the alternative view that natural selection conserved well-regulated, though nonconscious, decisional biology that protects the reproductive fitness of women by spontaneously aborting gestations that would otherwise yield...
Article
Epidemiological studies on green space and health have relied almost exclusively on cross-sectional designs, restricting understanding on how this relationship could vary across the lifecourse. We used multilevel linear regression to analyse variation in minor psychiatric morbidity over nine annual waves of the British Household Panel Survey (1996-...
Article
Urbanization, resource exploitation, and lifestyle changes have diminished possibilities for human contact with nature in urbanized societies. Concern about the loss has helped motivate research on the health benefits of contact with nature. Reviewing that research here, we focus on nature as represented by aspects of the physical environment relev...
Article
Home is for many a place to recover after a day at work and to find shelter from demands of the outside world. Being at home can thus be regarded as a resource for health and wellbeing. However, it is not always possible for people to ban traffic related disturbances from their home. Consequently, the restorative character of the home may become co...
Article
Vacations enable people to help one another, spend time together in pleasant contexts, and renew relational resources. Reasoning that these shared activities spread social and psychological benefits through social networks, we hypothesized that increase in the number of vacationing workers engenders nonlinear decline in psychological distress at th...