Environmental Health Behaviour Lab


Osvaldo Santos

EnviHeB Lab is composed by a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, sociologists, nutritionists, biologists, science communication experts and statisticians. Research is focused on the promotion of human behaviour and habits that enhance health, including adequate chronic disease self-management, and/or that protect sustainable physical, chemical, biological, psychosocial and/or built environments.

Main goals of EnviHeB Lab are: i) To create and systematize evidence about prevalence, determinants and effects of health- and environmental-related behaviors/habits; ii) To identify determinants of behavioral/ habitudinal transition(s) from pathogenic to salutogenic behaviours/ habits, and vice-versa; iii) To develop and assess the impact of environmental contexts on health-related behaviours.

Special focus are given to digital and health care environments. Patient safety, patient-clinician relationship/ communication, and therapeutic adherence are key objects of study in this lab.

The underlaying paradigm of EnviHeB Lab is the Planetary Health, which means that human-animal and human-multilayer-environment interconnections are studied with a focus on sustainable health-promoting environment.


Behavioural changes made by citizens and companies play a roughly equal role in reducing emissions in the Net‐Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. Most changes in road transport and energy‐saving in homes would depend on individuals, whereas the private sector has the primary role in reducing energy demand in commercial buildings and pursuing materials efficiency in manufacturing.


Net Zero by 2050 - A roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, May 2021
Internacional Energy Agency


Selected publications

Santos O, Virgolino A, Carneiro AV, Matos MG (2021). Health behavior and planetary health. A multi-level environmental health approach. European Psychologist 26(3): 212-218.

Uhl M, Santos RR, Costa J, Santos O, Virgolino A, Evans D, Murray C, Mulcahy M, Ubong D, Sepai O, Vicente JL, Leitner M, Benda-Kahri S, Zanini-Freitag D (2021). Chemical Exposure: European Citizens’ Perspectives, Trust, and Concerns on Human Biomonitoring Initiatives, Information Needs, and Scientific ResultsInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18(4): 1532.

Santos O, Stefanovska-Petkovska M, Virgolino A, Miranda AC, Costa J, Fernandes E, Cardoso S, Carneiro AV (2021). Functional Health Literacy: Psychometric Properties of the Newest Vital Sign for Portuguese Adolescents (NVS-PTeen). Nutrients 13: 790.

Candeias P, Alarcão V, Stefanovska-Petkovska M, Santos O, Virgolino A, Pintassilgo S, Pascoal P, Costa AS, Machado FL (2021). Reducing Sexual and Reproductive Health Inequities Between Natives and Migrants: A Delphi Consensus for Sustainable Cross-Cultural Healthcare PathwaysFront. Public Health 13 May 2021.

Santos O, Alarcão V, Feteira-Santos R, Fernandes J, Virgolino V, Sena C, Vieira CP, Gregório MJ, Nogueira P, Costa A (2020). Impact of different front-of-pack nutrition labels on online food choices. Appetite. Available online: 11 August 2020, 104795.

Santos O, Virgolino A, Santos RR, Costa J, Rodrigues A, Vaz-Carneiro A (2019). Environmental Health: An overview on the Evolution of the Concept and its Definitions. In: Nriagu J (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. 2nd edition. Elsevier, 2019, vol. 2, pp. 466–474.

Costa J, Santos RR, Virgolino A, Reis MF (2019). Solid waste incinerators: Health impacts. In: Nriagu J (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. 2nd edition. Elsevier, 2019, vol. 5, pp. 771–784.