OCT 08, 2019 8:28 AM PDT

Living by the Sea is Better for Mental Health

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Could how close you live to the sea have a positive impact on your mental health? For the first time, researchers from the University of Exeter have found that people from low-income background who live by the sea tend to have better mental health than their urban counterparts. 

To find this out, they took data from the Health Survey for England from 26,000 people to compare the mental health of those living less than 1km from the sea, and those more than 50km away. After analyzing it, the researchers found that those living nearer the sea had significantly better mental health than those in urban areas as measured by the General Health Questionnaire (Garrett: 2019). 

According to Dr. Joanne Garrett, who led the study, “Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders. When it comes to mental health, this 'protective' zone could play a useful role in helping to level the playing field between those on high and low income (University of Exeter: 2019)."

With around one in six adults in England suffering from a mental health disorder such as anxiety and depression, and these disorders more common in people from poorer backgrounds, these findings suggest that living by the coast may help mitigate health inequalities. Thus, they may also have further public health implications (Garrett: 2019). The largest demonstration of the positive effects of coastal living according to income, given that everywhere in England is within 70 miles of the sea, the researchers are hoping that real interventions can be made to bolster the public’s mental health. 

Dr Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter said, “This kind of research into blue health is vital to convincing governments to protect, create and encourage the use of coastal spaces. We need to help policy makers understand how to maximise the wellbeing benefits of 'blue' spaces in towns and cities and ensure that access is fair and inclusive for everyone, while not damaging our fragile coastal environments (University of Exeter: 2019)."


 

Sources 

 

Garrett, Joanne K.: El Sevier 

University of Exeter 

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
You May Also Like
MAR 09, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Alleviates Neuropathic Pain from Chemotherapy
MAR 09, 2021
Cannabis Alleviates Neuropathic Pain from Chemotherapy
Neuropathic pain from oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy regimens occurs in up to 90% of patients, and continued exposure to ...
APR 14, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
The Smell of Home: Insights Into Scent Imprinting
APR 14, 2021
The Smell of Home: Insights Into Scent Imprinting
Right after birth, young animals go through a period in which they 'imprint,' or fixate on sights and smells that they'r ...
MAY 06, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Are Hallucinations Necessary for Psychedelics to Treat Depression?
MAY 06, 2021
Are Hallucinations Necessary for Psychedelics to Treat Depression?
Many who work with psychedelics say that hallucinations, or psychedelic experiences, are an integral part of psychedelic ...
JUN 03, 2021
Microbiology
How HIV Can Deplete White Matter in the Brain
JUN 03, 2021
How HIV Can Deplete White Matter in the Brain
The brain is sometimes called grey matter, which is made up of neurons. But it also contains white matter, which are neu ...
JUN 03, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use in First Weeks of Pregnancy May Affect Brain Activity
JUN 03, 2021
Cannabis Use in First Weeks of Pregnancy May Affect Brain Activity
Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada have found that zebrafish exposed to certain cannabinoids early in ...
JUN 04, 2021
Neuroscience
Increased Screen Time Before Bed Linked to Poor Sleep Quality
JUN 04, 2021
Increased Screen Time Before Bed Linked to Poor Sleep Quality
Researchers from Italy have found that during the pandemic, people who increased their evening screen time also tended t ...
Loading Comments...