Going on vacation, especially during the summer, you will often choose locations that are close to bodies of water. The feeling of walking on a sandy beach, hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, cannot be compared to anything in life.
Recently, it was confirmed that being near the ocean can actually improve your mental health. As you can imagine, this research may form the basis of future urban planning to be carried out. Let’s find out more information on this matter.
Can mental health be improved just by being near the ocean?
We all at least take a walk by the sea or ocean, breathe in the salty air and feel relaxed when we touch the sand. However, recent research has taken the relationship between humans and bodies of water to a new level, suggesting that living in a location close to the ocean may actually be beneficial for mental health.
This research was conducted by the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), in collaboration with Michigan State University (USA). The main idea is to analyze the population of Wellington (New Zealand), in terms of the visible blue/green space. Blue spaces refer to bodies of water, such as seas or oceans (including beaches), while green spaces include parks, forests and other similar spaces. This research may have provided the answer to one of the oldest questions out there: how to live a healthy lifestyle? By the sea, ocean or other body of water!
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and quite an urban city; however, it remains a short distance from the two great bodies of water, meaning the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The study concentrated on finding a relationship between people living in ocean-view dwellings and the quality of their mental health. While you may be tempted to say that it is proximity to the open air that guarantees positive mental health, the research actually confirms that only the proximity of blue spaces offers such benefits.
And what about the green room? Why not offer the same benefits to local residents? According to the researchers involved in the study, the body of water is 100% natural, without human involvement. The green space included as part of this study includes not only natural areas such as forests, but also areas developed by humans such as parks, playgrounds and sports fields. The authors consider that, to truly unravel the effect of green space visibility on one’s mental health, one need only analyze pristine forest (excluding man-made areas).
Why are the results of this study so important?
We live in a world where mental health is becoming increasingly fragile. Most people deal with large amounts of stress on a daily basis, in need Supplements for brain health. Spending your whole day in the city, you may feel oppressed and anxious; we must be in the open and especially near bodies of water. The more time we spend by the sea, ocean or other body of water, the better our mental status will be and we will experience less stress and anxiety.
Research results are also important in the context of global urbanization. More and more natural areas are being destroyed, to make room for thriving cities, which affect the entire future of our species. Such studies draw attention to the fact that urban planning must take into account the importance of blue spaces, to ensure improved physical and mental health for the residents in the vicinity.
The higher the level of visibility of the blue space, the lower the psychological pressure experienced by the occupants around it. So, you know, it’s not enough to see nature up close; You have to see a body of water and be able to take a walk by the sea or ocean, to enjoy a positive state of mental health. The researchers involved in the study will continue their research to determine whether or not the visibility of blue space can offer the same benefits in other cities.
You wouldn’t expect there to be a link between mental health and the visibility of blue space, but the research carried out by these specialists is just the first step in confirming our proximity to the ocean. When people live near bodies of water and they have the opportunity to enjoy its salty air, they enjoy better health, both physical and mental. This leaves urban planners with a very important mission and that is to create cities that have the visibility of green and blue spaces, to guarantee the best state of health for current and future residents.