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When we visit the beach, we feel relaxed and calm. Our worries seem to dissipate with each wave that crashes against our feet. We dip our toes into the sand, take a seat, and let the sun envelop us in its warmth. These are our happy times. After leaving the beach, we often think about how nice it would be to live closer to it, to be able to walk outside and watch the sunset on any given day.
I was lucky enough to be able to do this for the last few years. I felt happy and less anxious when I was able to go to the beach. It turns out, the beach could have many benefits for us aside from drowning our feelings of anxiety.
Researchers at the University of Exeter found that those who live by the coast were more likely to have ratings of “good health” as compared to those who lived inland. Although the study only concerned those living in England, it hints at the fact that many people all over the world have better health when they live closer to the coast.
Researcher Ben Wheeler reflected that they knew beaches made people calmer and happier, but they wanted to find out if this translated to overall good health. “By analyzing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect [for those living by the beach], although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect,” Wheeler said.
We definitely need more research to prove the sea’s health benefits. For instance, why is it that the coast is linked with better health? Could it be that those who live by the beach have higher levels of physical activity? Better diets? Or is the stress reduction having a direct effect on their health?
Either way, it’s a reason to live by the beach. We’ll take it.