There’s nothing more important than your mental health and wellbeing, but as we know, the state of this can be heavily impacted by your environment.
Those who live in busy cities and lead non-stop lives often suffer the most, which is why many of us have probably considered packing up and swapping out the daily hustle and bustle for a more tranquil life by the seaside. Well, it turns out science agrees.
A new study has revealed that those who live by the coast have far better mental health than those who reside in towns and cities miles away from the sea.
This conclusion was drawn by researchers at the University of Exeter, who surveyed data from 25,963 participants and ultimately discovered that those who live less than a kilometre from the coast are 22 percent less likely to show symptoms of a mental health disorder than those who live further than 50km away.
As reported by Metro, the study also points out that the findings are valid regardless of your income as the results from the survey also highlighted that those in low-income households who live less than a kilometre from the seaside are around 40 per cent less likely to have symptoms of ill mental health, compared to those earning the same amount but reside more than 50km away from their nearest coast.
But why is it so important to be near the water? While the scientists weren’t that clear on the explicit connection, they did suggest that in the same way that greenery and the outdoors has been proved to be great for your wellbeing, ‘blue space’ has the same effect.
‘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, the study’s lead researcher. ‘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.’
However, if you are struggling with your mental health, it is best to speak to your GP or a professional therapist before you decide to up and leave.