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Mats Hallgren. Photo: Private.

Mats Hallgren

Assistant professor

Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. I'm an Australian with a very Swedish name!

Research description

Broadly interested in links between physical activity/inactivity and mental health. Current projects focus on exercise as treatment for alcohol use disorder ('FitForChange'), and yoga-based exercise to promote healthy ageing and wellbeing. I also work with Swedish register data exploring relationships of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and mental health. Recently completed  projects include exercise for depression ('Regassa') and first episode psychosis. Committed to translating research into clinical and public health practice. 

Teaching portfolio

I give lectures and seminars on physical activity and mental health at KI and other universities in Sweden and abroad. I also supervise master and PhD students in public health sciences.


  • PhD; Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2012)
  • Master of Health Promotion, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Professional Psychology), Federation University, Australia
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) - University of Melbourne, Australia.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Each year since 2013 I have been awarded competative research funding:

  • Swedish Research Council for Health Workinglife and Welfare (FORTE) 2018-20: Effects of yoga on health and wellbing in elderly adults. Principal investigator.
  • FORTE, 2018-23: Novel treatments for substance abuse. Co-investigator with Prof. Sven Andréasson.
  • FORTE, 2016; Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and depression. Visiting researcher grant.
  • Post-doctoral stipend 2015-16: Exercise for Depression, Brain Foundation Sweden (Hjärnfonden).
  • Karolinska Institutet post-doctoral position (2014): Exercise for depression (Regassa study, with Prof. Yvonne Forsell)
  • Swedish National Institute for Public Health, and the Ministry for Social Welfare (2013): Studies in Swedish adolescent drug use.
  • PhD scholarship 2009-2012, Karolinska Institutet (KID).
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