Scientifically, living near the sea preserves mental health


People who live near the coast are usually happier than those who live in landlocked cities, and this is the conclusion of a recent study by researchers from the University of Exeter and published in the magazine Health and Place in September 2019.

The study found that poor people living less than one kilometer from the sea are 40% less likely to have mental health disorders compared to those who earn the same amount of income and live 50 kilometers from the sea.

The research has linked people living around these aquatic environments with increased physical activity, reduced psychological distress, improved overall health, and well-being, as well as lower death rates.

This study comes within the framework of a growing group of research that indicates that blue areas – including coasts, rivers, and lakes – can be a protective area for mental health, but this study is the first of its kind in which the benefits of coastal life are shown at this detailed level According to the income.

Blue spaces The survey used data for 26,000 people surveyed, reporting that men and women reported their mental health, well-being, and income, as well as how close they were to the coast, and after taking into account relevant factors such as age, gender, smoking status, and BMI, those who lived at less than one kilometer were The sea is 22% less likely to have mental health disorder symptoms, such as anxiety and depression than those who live 50 km off the coast.

But the study found that the benefits of living through “blue areas” – as researchers call it – were more striking for low-income residents, as living near the sea could support better mental health in England’s poorer urban communities.

The report notes that one out of every six people in England suffers from a mental health disorder, as is almost the case for one in five Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Joe Garrett led the study, believing that the results can have important implications. “Our research indicates for the first time that people in poor homes living near the coast have fewer symptoms of mental health disorders, and this” preventive “region can play A beneficial role in helping to equate high and low-income people with mental health. “

Global happiness A report by the Lancet Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development Commission released last year warned that mental disorders are increasing in all countries of the world and that this will cost the global economy \$ 16 trillion in lost productivity by 2030 when an estimated 12 billion working days lose mental illness each year. In this regard, Dr. Matthew White, author of the study and Environmental Psychologist at the University of Exeter, wrote, “This type of blue health research is vital to persuade governments to protect, create and encourage the use of coastal areas.”

“We need to help policymakers understand how to maximize the benefits of luxury for blue places in towns and cities and ensure that access is fair and inclusive to all, while not harming fragile coastal environments,” he added.

The last UN report on global happiness ranked Finland the country that citizens say is the happiest, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, and Austria.

The report pointed out that all of these countries – with the exception of Switzerland and Austria – overlook the water.

Source: Al-Jazeera, websites

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