People living near sea 'healthier'
London, July 17 (ANI): People, who live on the English coast have better health compared to people who live inland, a new survey has revealed.
According to researchers, living in areas such as Skegness, St Ives or Scarborough had been linked to a "small, but significant" improvement in health.
Lower stress and more opportunities to exercise have been suggested as possible explanations.
The researchers had looked at data from 48 million people in England from the 2001 census.
They compared how close people had been to the bracing sea air and their answer to a question about their own health.
The study had been conducted by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter.
It found that people living less than 1 km from the sea had been more likely to say that they were in "good health" than people living further away.
The effect had been small but the researchers said that when magnified across 48 million people, it could have a large impact on public health.
Lead researcher Dr Ben Wheeler said that loads of explanations had been suggested, although they had not yet been tested.
"One of the most obvious is the opportunity for physical activity or being more motivated to go for a walk along the coast," the BBC quoted Wheeler as saying.
There are also ideas about "being beside the seaside" being a lot more relaxing environment.
However, there may be another explanation. Wealthier and healthier people might be more able to move to the coast.
"They are possibly moving to the coast and bringing their good health with them," Wheeler said.
The study had also found that people from the poorest backgrounds had benefited most from a coastal home. There had been little or no benefit to the most affluent people.
The study echoed others which had linked health to the countryside and urban parks.
Dr Matthew White, who had been involved in this study, presented research in April suggesting the coast was the most likely outdoor environment to create a feeling of well-being.
"While not everyone can live by the sea, some of the health-promoting features of coastal environments could be transferable to other places," White said.
The research has been published in the journal Health and Place. (ANI)
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