Living Near The Ocean Improves Your Health

There is a good reason your dreams of a relaxing holiday often include the ocean, or why many men and women think of retiring to the beach in a coastal style house. There is a feeling of wonder, calm, and serenity that comes from living around the water, or just by being around it. While the tourism sector and Florida snowbirds have known this forever, there is now research to verify that living near the ocean might actually enhance mental health. Using Wellington, New Zealand, the metropolitan capital as its case study, researchers from Michigan State University evaluated residents who lived in areas with views of either blue or green spaces. Coastal residents saw the Tasman Sea or the Pacific Ocean while inland ones were near parks or woods.

Some people who lived near the water reported psychological distress, however many other research studies have looked at the correlation between health and coastal living and have discovered that an uptick in mental health among individuals who live by the water, whether at beach houses or just a few miles away from the ocean. But Michigan State says it is the first to show an affirmative link between the two based on visibility of water out of an individual’s home.

The original intent of this research was to ascertain the impact of nature on depression and anxiety, especially in urban areas where there is less natural beauty. It is well recognized that having bodies of water or swaths of green area boosts physical and social action. And that being close to nature has a known stress-reducing effect, being in an open place and not around large mass amounts of people. Using Data in the New Zealand Health Survey, the investigators could compare mental-health data to where folks live. What they found is that there was no substantial advantage for people living close green areas, but there was for individuals who lived by the water in coastal homes. When they broke down demographics by age, gender and personal income, there continues to be an improvement in mental health among individuals as they researched them closer to the sea.

There are, of course, notable limitations to such a study, which the authors detail in length in their newspaper. For one, they notice that the blue spaces in Wellington are a much better representation of natural beauty than the town’s green ones, which are largely parks and sports fields. Moreover, would the very same results be true of other bodies of water, which aren’t oceans?

Still, the researchers assert that such findings might help identify some tangible ways to help treat mental illness, stress, and anxiety. In April, the World Bank and the World Health Organization held a meeting about how to make an international agenda for mental health, calling it a crucial issue on par with where HIV/AIDS had been 20 years back. They are ready to make important investments. The Authors of this study suggest that, if it is true that blue spaces encourage higher psychological well being, then communities could, as an instance, invest in more affordable housing near the water and effectively the ocean.

Or, if living with views of the water is not feasible, may we suggest beach holidays in a luxurious beach house, with beach style furniture — possibly could be covered by medical insurance? Either way, we know that the ocean is truly a wonderful place, as the open serenity, and the peacefulness of the water really does improve, relieve, and soothe stress and anxiety, and overall your health’s well being.