Time spent on the beach or coast can leave you feeling exhilarated, relaxed and refreshed – is there something in the air?
Researchers seem to think so but more than that, here is how living beside the sea can be good for your health.
People feel happier living by the coast with research suggesting that sea views lower levels of stress – more so than views of greenery.
Scientists refer to it as the ‘blue mind’ and research by the University of Exeter has found that people who live by the coast report themselves as having better health and wellbeing than those who live inland.
For hundreds of years, doctors sent patients off to the seaside for the healing benefits of sea air but does modern science support this practice?
Recent scientific research has shown that salty air does have a positive impact on some lung conditions. While other studies suggest that negative ions – invisible, odourless, tasteless molecules abundant in certain environments like the coast – could also have a positive impact on physical and mental health, although more detailed research is needed.
With stretches of beach to explore, coastal paths to walk, waves to surf or water to paddle or swim in, it’s no wonder that people who live on the coast are generally more active.
Research, again from the University of Exeter, found that those living near to the sea were more likely to meet UK activity guidelines which are good for overall health and well-being.
Scientists disagree about whether it is the quality of the air that has a more soporific effect on humans or the sound of the waves – it’s no coincidence that ocean sounds are often used as sleep assisting music.
A small study by Environmental psychologist Eleanor Ratcliffe for the National Trust found that people who walk by the coast slept longer compared to those walking the same distance but inland.
Perhaps it’s a combination of all three things – air, exercise and the relaxing sounds of waves.
Researchers have found that people living by the coast have a higher level of vitamin D which is important for things like controlling calcium to keep bones healthy and regulating the immune system.
Maybe getting out into the sunshine has something to do with it.
Enjoy life by the sea with Acorn’s collection of stunning coastal apartments and houses in the South West and Wales. Acorn has offices in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Hampshire and Cornwall https://www.acornpropertygroup.org/collection/coastal/