Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The Health Benefits Of Living By The Sea

English: Coastal view of the touristic town Wi...

English: Coastal view of the touristic town Wimereux (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 17 July 2012 article at Medical News Today

A new study from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, has revealed that people living near the coast tend to have better health than those living inland. ..

..Previous research has shown that the coastal environment may not only offer better opportunities for its inhabitants to be active, but also provide significant benefits in terms ofstress reduction. Another recent study conducted by the Centre in collaboration with Natural England found that visits to the coast left people feeling calmer, more relaxed and more revitalised than visits to city parks or countryside. One reason those living in coastal communities may attain better physical health could be due to the stress relief offered by spending time near to the sea.

Lead author of the study, Dr Ben Wheeler said:

“We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but there is strikingly little evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and wellbeing. By analysing 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”.

Dr Mathew White said:

“While not everyone can live by the sea, some of the health promoting features of coastal environments could be transferable to other places. Any future initiatives will need to balance the potential benefits of coastal access against threats from extreme events, climate change impacts, and the unsustainable exploitation of coastal locations.” ..

July 18, 2012 - Posted by | Public Health | , , , ,

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