Living by the seaside can improve mental health and quality of life, according to study

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living near seaside better mental health
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Living by the seaside can improve your mental health, a study has suggested.

Research has suggested that those living by the seaside are less likely to experience mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

Scientists from Exeter University found that people who living around half a mile from a coast are less likely to experience to depression and anxiety.

The researchers suggested that the coast could act as a “protective zone” for mental wellbeing and they also pointed out the connection between health and the environment, commenting on “Blue Health”.

Study leaders looked at physical and mental wellbeing data on more than 26,000 people and then compared it to how far away they were from the seaside.

They found that those who lived less than one kilometre from the seaside were 22 per cent less likely to experience mental health problems, compared to those who lived more than 50km away from the coast.

living near seaside better mental health

The team also found that the impact is even greater in poorer households nearer to the sea, with low income households in the same area around 40 per cent less likely to experience a mental health condition.

The interesting study, which was published in the journal Health and Place, suggested that if those living in towns and cities had easier access to the coast it could help to even the playing field between the different residents.

“Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders,” said Dr Jo Garrett, lead author of the study.

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”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.”

“This kind of research into blue health is vital to convincing governments to protect, create and encourage the use of coastal spaces,” agreed Dr Mathew White, environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter.

“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.”

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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