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People living near coastal communities have better health than people who live inland. Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter used data to find out how health varied across regions. They found good health more likely the closer people got to the sea.
Results of the study showed that on average, populations living by the sea self-reported health that was better than similar populations (age, sex and economics) living inland. One of their conclusions is that access to “good” environments lead to better health reducing one of the inequalities between the rich and poor.
Coastal communities offer more opportunities for physical activity and stress reduction. Visits to the coast help people relax and reduce stress.
“We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but here is strikingly kittle evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and well-being. By analyzing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect, although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect. We need to carry out more sophisticated studies to try to unravel the reasons that may explain the relationship we’re seeing. If the evidence is there, it might help to provide governments with the guidance necessary to wisely and sustainably use our valuable coasts to help improve the health of the whole UK population,” said lead author Dr. Ben Wheeler.
It may be possible to take aspects of the sea inland. Recordings of seascapes used during meditation are one example of how they could move aspects of the beach to the larger population. Now if they could just move in a nice ocean breeze.
Photo by John Nyboer
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