Traffic-related exposures, constrained restoration, and health in the residential context

Health Place. 2016 May;39:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.12.003. Epub 2016 Mar 18.


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.

Keywords: Air pollution; Disturbance; Restoration; Sound sources; Transportation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Austria
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vehicle Emissions*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Vehicle Emissions