According to a new study, people who live near the coast generally have better health than those who live inland.
Using data from the 2001 UK census, researchers from the University of Exeter examined how health varied across the country. In their overall review of 48 million individuals, they found people were more likely to have good health if they lived closer to the sea. Further analysis revealed that the most economically deprived communities living near the coast had much better health than similarly situated inland populations.
Combined with other studies, these findings suggest that access to natural and “good” environments may play a significant role in reducing inequality in health between the wealthiest and poorest members of society, reported the Huffington Post.
“We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but there is strikingly little evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and well-being,” dead author of the study Dr. Ben Wheeler said. “By analyzing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect, although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect. We need to carry out more sophisticated studies to try to unravel the reasons that may explain the relationship we’re seeing.”