http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/living-by-the-sea-is-better-for-your-mental-health-study/article/559469

Living by the sea is better for your mental health: Study

Posted Oct 9, 2019 by Tim Sandle
Living in different areas can have different impacts upon mental health. A new study has looked at people living close to the sea and has a drawn a positive correlation between residing in coastal areas and positive wellbeing.
A view of Portmarnock  looking out towards the Irish sea.
A view of Portmarnock, looking out towards the Irish sea.
The new study comes from the University of Exeter and it finds that those who are in low-income backgrounds and who live close to the sea are more likely to experience better mental health compared with people on similar incomes who live in urban areas.
The data for the assessment was drawn from the Health Survey for England. This survey was formed of 26,000 people, and various data points were used to compare the mental health of those living less than one mile from the sea with people who lived 50 miles or further away. The responses to mental health related factors were drawn from the General Health Questionnaire.
READ MORE: Seeking the ultimate wellbeing? You need two hours of nature
Better mental health was defined as lower rates of anxiety and depression. The effects were only apparent for people on lower incomes. Hence, the findings suggest that living near the coast may help mitigate health inequalities.
Discussing the findings with Laboratory Roots, lead researcher Dr. Joanne Garrett states: “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."
The researchers hope that policy makers will come to understand how to maximise the wellbeing benefits of 'blue' spaces in towns and cities, and encourage those who live many miles away from the sea to visit coastal areas more often.
Further details about the research are discussed in the following video:
The research has been published in the journal Health & Place, with the research paper titled "Coastal proximity and mental health among urban adults in England: The moderating effect of household income."