People Who Live by the Sea Less Likely to Experience Anxiety and Depression

Posted: October 07th 2019


This is an interesting article. It provides some small cheer for those beleaguered trusts with a coastal context who find more often than not that it is very difficult to recruit staff.

Living next to the sea is good for your mental health, a new study has found.

Researchers from Exeter University found that those living around half a mile from the coast are less likely to experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

The team say the results suggest the coast may act as a “protective zone” for psychological wellbeing and also highlight the importance of so-called “Blue Health” – the link between health and the natural environment.

For the study, researchers analysed data on more than 26,000 Brits taken from the Health Survey for England. 

The physical and mental wellbeing of the participants was then compared to their proximity to the coast.

After adjusting for external factors, the scientists found people who live less than a kilometre from the coast are around 22 per cent less likely to have symptoms of a mental health disorder, compared to those who live 50km or more away.

For those from low income households who live less than a kilometre from the coast, the impact is even greater with people around 40 per cent less likely to have symptoms, than those earning the same amount living more than 50km away.

Published in the journal Health and Place, the findings suggest access to the coast could help to reduce these health inequalities in towns and cities.