It might be the salty sea scent, the cool ocean breeze or the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, whatever it is, a new study found that living close to the sea makes people feel great.
The multi-faceted study from the University of Exeter proved that exposure to the sea not only boosts our wellbeing but has other health benefits too.
The team conducted several experiments after reviewing British census data showing that those who lived near the coast reported better health.
While the general assumption is that those who live by the sea are generally wealthier and therefore can afford both a healthier lifestyle, as well as beachside property, researchers actually found that it was the lower socioeconomic communities that reported the greatest health benefits from leaving near the sea.
In one experiment the majority of participnts said they would pay most for an ocean view in a hotel, when given the option of a green field, city or ocean view.
Besides the obvious preference for a seaside setting, the researchers also found that people’s wellbeing would improve greatly when relocating to the seaside.
Participants were also positively affected even when moving to an area close to the seaside. The move would reduce stress and promote physical activity such as a long leisurely stroll along the beach, study researcher Michael White told Mail Online.
The researchers believe that their results can help shape a new kind of therapy based on ocean exposure and presented their findings at a science policy conference hosted by the American Geophysical Union.
The researchers said their research into the topic is ongoing. One promising study involves putting people in stressful situations like dental surgeries and then placing them virtually in a beach setting or dental room for comparison. According to the researchers, while immersed in the seaside setting, participants reported feeling less pain.