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Lymeus, F., Lindberg, P. & Hartig, T. (2018). Building mindfulness bottom-up: Meditation in natural settings supports open monitoring and attention restoration. Consciousness and Cognition, 59, 40-56
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building mindfulness bottom-up: Meditation in natural settings supports open monitoring and attention restoration
2018 (English)In: Consciousness and Cognition, ISSN 1053-8100, E-ISSN 1090-2376, Vol. 59, p. 40-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 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 taught low-effort open monitoring meditation in a garden over five weeks. Assessments before and after meditation on multiple occasions showed that ReST meditation increasingly enhanced attention performance. Conventional meditation enhanced attention initially but increasingly incurred effort, reflected in performance decrements toward the course end. With both courses, attentional improvements generalized in the first weeks of training. Against established accounts, the generalized improvements thus occurred before any effort was incurred by the conventional exercises. We propose that restoration rather than attention training can account for early attentional improvements with meditation. ReST holds promise as an undemanding introduction to mindfulness and as a method to enhance restoration in nature contacts.

Keyword
Attention, Mindfulness, Meditation, Restoration, Training
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-341717 (URN)10.1016/j.concog.2018.01.008 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-02-13 Created: 2018-02-13 Last updated: 2018-03-08Bibliographically approved
Dzhambov, A., Hartig, T., Markevych, I., Tilov, B. & Dimitrova, D. (2018). Urban residential greenspace and mental health in youth: Different approaches to testing multiple pathways yield different conclusions. Environmental Research, 160, 47-59
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban residential greenspace and mental health in youth: Different approaches to testing multiple pathways yield different conclusions
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2018 (English)In: Environmental Research, ISSN 0013-9351, E-ISSN 1096-0953, Vol. 160, p. 47-59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 components in the pathway from greenspace to mental health.

Methods: We collected cross-sectional survey data from 399 participants (15-25 years of age) in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Objective "exposure" to urban residential greenspace was defined by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index, tree cover density within the 500-m buffer, and Euclidean distance to the nearest urban greenspace. Self-reported measures of availability, access, quality, and usage of greenspace were also used. Mental health was measured with the General Health Questionnaire. The following potential mediators were considered in single and parallel mediation models: restorative quality of the neighborhood, neighborhood social cohesion, commuting and leisure time physical activity, road traffic noise annoyance, and perceived air pollution. Four models were tested with the following serial mediation components: (1) restorative quality -> social cohesion; (2) restorative quality -> physical activity; (3) perceived traffic pollution -> restorative quality; (4) and noise annoyance -> physical activity.

Results: There was no direct association between objectively-measured greenspace and mental health. For the 500-m buffer, the tests of the single mediator models suggested that restorative quality mediated the relationship between NDVI and mental health. Tests of parallel mediation models did not find any significant indirect effects. In line with theory, tests of the serial mediation models showed that higher restorative quality was associated with more physical activity and more social cohesion, and in turn with better mental health. As for self-reported greenspace measures, single mediation through restorative quality was significant only for time in greenspace, and there was no mediation though restorative quality in the parallel mediation models; however, serial mediation through restorative quality and social cohesion/physical activity was indicated for all self-reported measures except for greenspace quality.

Conclusions: Statistical models should adequately address the theoretically indicated interdependencies between mechanisms underlying association between greenspace and mental health. If such causal relationships hold, testing mediators alone or in parallel may lead to incorrect inferences about the relative contribution of specific paths, and thus to inappropriate intervention strategies.

Keyword
Air pollution, Greenness, Green space, Mediation analysis, Noise, Physical activity, Restoration, Social cohesion, Stress
National Category
Environmental Sciences Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-345052 (URN)10.1016/j.envres.2017.09.015 (DOI)000417548600007 ()28961469 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-03-08 Created: 2018-03-08 Last updated: 2018-03-08Bibliographically approved
Lymeus, F., Lundgren, T. & Hartig, T. (2017). Attentional Effort of Beginning Mindfulness Training Is Offset With Practice Directed Toward Images of Natural Scenery. Environment and Behavior, 49(5), 536-559
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attentional Effort of Beginning Mindfulness Training Is Offset With Practice Directed Toward Images of Natural Scenery
2017 (English)In: Environment and Behavior, ISSN 0013-9165, E-ISSN 1552-390X, Vol. 49, no 5, p. 536-559Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 in pleasant natural environments; natural scenery may therefore facilitate mindfulness practice. Twenty-seven participants completed an 8-week mindfulness course; 14 served as waiting-list controls. We tested participants’ attention every other week before and after 15-min sessions of conventional mindfulness practice, mindfulness practice with nature images, or rest with nature images (controls). Mindfulness practice incurred attentional effort; it hampered performance gains seen in controls during practice/rest sessions, and attentionally weak participants completed fewer course exercises. Viewing nature images during practice increasingly offset the effort of mindfulness practice across the 8 weeks. Bringing skill-based and nature-based approaches together offers additional possibilities for understanding and facilitating mindfulness and restorative states.

Keyword
mindfulness, nature, attention, restoration, environment
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-313822 (URN)10.1177/0013916516657390 (DOI)000401162600003 ()
Available from: 2017-01-24 Created: 2017-01-24 Last updated: 2017-11-07Bibliographically approved
Markevych, I., Schoierer, J., Hartig, T., Chudnovsky, A., Hystad, P., Dzhambov, A. M., . . . Fuertes, E. (2017). Exploring pathways linking greenspace to health: theoretical and methodological guidance. Environmental Research, 158, 301-317
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring pathways linking greenspace to health: theoretical and methodological guidance
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2017 (English)In: Environmental Research, ISSN 0013-9351, E-ISSN 1096-0953, Vol. 158, p. 301-317Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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: During an Expert Workshop held in September 2016, the evidence linking greenspace and health was reviewed from a transdisciplinary standpoint, with a particular focus on potential underlying biopsychosocial pathways and how these can be explored and organized to support policy-relevant population health research.

Discussions: Potential pathways linking greenspace to health are here presented in three domains, which emphasize three general functions of greenspace: reducing harm (e.g. reducing exposure to air pollution, noise and heat), restoring capacities (e.g. attention restoration and physiological stress recovery) and building capacities (e.g. encouraging physical activity and facilitating social cohesion). Interrelations between among the three domains are also noted. Among several recommendations, future studies should: use greenspace and behavioural measures that are relevant to hypothesized pathways; include assessment of presence, access and use of greenspace; use longitudinal, interventional and (quasi)experimental study designs to assess causation; and include low and middle income countries given their absence in the existing literature. Cultural, climatic, geographic and other contextual factors also need further consideration.

Conclusions: While the existing evidence affirms beneficial impacts of greenspace on health, much remains to be learned about the specific pathways and functional form of such relationships, and how these may vary by context, population groups and health outcomes. This Report provides guidance for further epidemiological research with the goal of creating new evidence upon which to develop policy recommendations.

Keyword
Greenness, Green spaces, Greenspace, Pathways, Mediation analysis
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335011 (URN)10.1016/j.envres.2017.06.028 (DOI)000408184700033 ()28672128 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-11-29 Created: 2017-11-29 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Hartig, T. & Jahncke, H. (2017). Letter to the editor: Attention restoration in natural environments: Mixed mythical metaphors for meta-analysis. Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews, 20(5), 305-315
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Letter to the editor: Attention restoration in natural environments: Mixed mythical metaphors for meta-analysis
2017 (English)In: Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews, ISSN 1093-7404, E-ISSN 1521-6950, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 305-315Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
National Category
Psychology Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333155 (URN)10.1080/10937404.2017.1363101 (DOI)000410833500003 ()28846499 (PubMedID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1761
Available from: 2017-11-07 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2018-03-16Bibliographically approved
Collado, S., Staats, H., Corraliza, J. A. & Hartig, T. (2017). Restorativeenvironments and health. In: G. Fleury-Bahi, E. Pol., & O. Navarro (Ed.), Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research: (pp. 127-148). Heidelberg: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Restorativeenvironments and health
2017 (English)In: Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research / [ed] G. Fleury-Bahi, E. Pol., & O. Navarro, Heidelberg: Springer, 2017, p. 127-148Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heidelberg: Springer, 2017
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-325568 (URN)
Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-06-26
Dahlkvist, E., Hartig, T., Nilsson, A., Högberg, H., Skovdahl, K. & Engström, M. (2016). Garden greenery and the health of older people in residential care facilities: a multi-level cross-sectional study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(9), 2065-2076
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Garden greenery and the health of older people in residential care facilities: a multi-level cross-sectional study
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648, Vol. 72, no 9, p. 2065-2076Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 the garden. Background. Many older people in residential facilities suffer from complex health problems. Access to a green outdoor environment may enable psychological distance, engage effortless attention, encourage more frequent visitation and promote resident health. Design. A multi-level, cross-sectional, correlational design. Methods. Questionnaires were administered June–August, 2011 to convenience samples of residents at 72 facilities for older people with complex healthcare needs. One to 10 eligible residents were sampled during self-motivated garden visits at each facility (n = 290). They reported on their garden experiences and health. Facility staff reported on objective garden characteristics and barriers to access. A serial mediation model was tested with multiple linear regression analysis. Results. The total indirect effect of greenery on self-perceived health was positive and significant. Garden greenery appears to affect health by enhancing a sense of being away, affording possibilities to experience the outdoor environment as interesting and encouraging visitation. Among residents in homes with multiple barriers, only fascination mediated the relationship between greenery and selfperceived health. Conclusion. Ample greenery in outdoor space at residential facilities for older people appears to promote experiences of being away and fascination, more frequent visitation and better health.

Keyword
health, nurses, nursing, outdoor environment, residential facilities, serial mediation
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-283036 (URN)10.1111/jan.12968 (DOI)000383625800009 ()27028976 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-04-08 Created: 2016-04-08 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Hartig, T. & Kahn, P. H. . (2016). Living in cities, naturally. Science, 352(6288), 938-940
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living in cities, naturally
2016 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 352, no 6288, p. 938-940Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 benefits, not only directly but also through the role they play in shaping attitudes toward the environment and environmental protection. Knowledge of the psychological benefits of nature experience supports efforts to better integrate nature into the architecture, infrastructure, and public spaces of urban areas.

National Category
Psychology Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298164 (URN)10.1126/science.aaf3759 (DOI)000376147800034 ()27199417 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-30 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved
Von Lindern, E., Hartig, T. & Lercher, P. (2016). Traffic-related exposures, constrained restoration, and health in the residential context. Health and Place, 39, 92-100
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Traffic-related exposures, constrained restoration, and health in the residential context
2016 (English)In: Health and Place, ISSN 1353-8292, E-ISSN 1873-2054, Vol. 39, p. 92-100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 door-to-door surveys concerning perceived disturbance from traffic-related exposures, restorative qualities of the living environment, self-perceived health and residential satisfaction. We analyzed these data with successive tests of nested structural equation models, with and without the restorative quality variables. The results suggest that the negative impact of traffic-related exposures on self-perceived health and satisfaction with the living environment involves the constraint of restorative qualities of the living environment, over and above the share traditionally attributed to such exposures viewed as stressors. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of the distinction between environmental stressors and constraints on restoration.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298166 (URN)10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.12.003 (DOI)000376515600012 ()26995669 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-30 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved
Staats, H., Jahncke, H., Herzog, T. R. & Hartig, T. (2016). Urban Options for Psychological Restoration: Common Strategies in Everyday Situations. PLoS ONE, 11(1), Article ID e0146213.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban Options for Psychological Restoration: Common Strategies in Everyday Situations
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 1, article id e0146213Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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. Methods We conducted a true experiment with convenience samples of university students in the Netherlands (n = 80), Sweden (n = 100), and the USA (n = 316). In each country, the experiment had a mixed design with activities-in-environments (sitting in a park, sitting in a cafe, walking in a shopping mall, walking along a busy street) manipulated within-subjects and the need for restoration (attentional fatigue, no attentional fatigue) and immediate social context (in company, alone) manipulated between-subjects. The manipulations relied on previously tested scenarios describing everyday situations that participants were instructed to remember and imagine themselves being in. For each imagined situation (activity-in-environment with antecedent fatigue condition and immediate social context), subjects provided two criterion measures: general preference and the likelihood of achieving psychological restoration. Results The settings received different preference and restoration likelihood ratings as expected, affirming that a busy street, often used in comparisons with natural settings, is not representative of the restorative potential of urban settings. Being with a close friend and attentional fatigue both moderated ratings for specific settings. Findings of additional moderation by country of residence caution against broad generalizations regarding preferences for and the expected restorative effects of different urban settings. Conclusions Preferences and restoration likelihood ratings for urban activity-environment combinations are subject to multiple personal and contextual determinants, including level of attentional fatigue, being alone versus in company, and broader aspects of the urban context that vary across cities and countries. Claims regarding a lack of restorative quality in urban environments are problematic.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276822 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0146213 (DOI)000367801400117 ()26731272 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-02-16 Created: 2016-02-16 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-9970-9164

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