Are you familiar with the concept of blue health? It revolves around the idea that having access to bodies of water, whether that’s lakes, the ocean, rivers or even canals, can help improve our mental health.
Research conducted by the University of Exeter recently has found evidence to support this assertion. The study surveyed nearly 26,000 people and focused specifically on coastal living. The number of respondents makes this the most detailed analysis ever carried out into the benefits of living by the sea.
The team found that living in a town or city on England’s coastline is associated with better mental health, particularly for those in low-income households.
The university notes that this adds to the “growing evidence” that blue space is important for our mental wellbeing.
Dr Matthew White, environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter, commented: “We need to help policy makers understand how to maximise the wellbeing benefits of blue spaces in towns and cities to ensure that access is fair and inclusive for everyone, while not damaging our fragile coastal environments.”
This research is part of the BlueHealth project, a European initiative that’s exploring the impact of blue spaces on mental health across the continent.
Earlier this year, another study under the project found that developing riverside parks could help improve public health and wellbeing. That means even those living in landlocked areas and cities can reap the benefits of being close to water.
Of course, just spending time by a lake, river or the sea isn’t always going to be enough. If you think you’d benefit from seeing a counsellor in Manchester, get in touch with us today.