Study: Living by the sea is good for mental health

Research results: Coastal residents with better mental health

People who like to spend their vacation on the beach will not be surprised by the new research results: A study has shown that living near the sea is associated with better mental health.

Coastal residents have better mental health than people who live further away from the sea - regardless of their income. This is the result of a new study by researchers from the University of Exeter (Great Britain). Data from almost 26,000 people was used for the analysis. According to a statement, this is one of the most detailed studies ever done to investigate the effects of being at sea on wellbeing. The results were published in the journal "Health and Place".

People from low-income households benefit particularly

Around one in six adults in England suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety disorders and depression. These diseases are far more likely in people with poorer backgrounds. The study results now suggest that access to the coast could help reduce these health inequalities.

The study, which used data from the Health Survey for England health study, found that people less than a kilometer from the coast were 22 percent less likely to experience symptoms of a mental disorder than people living at a distance of 50 km or more. People in low-income households who are less than a kilometer from the coast suffer around 40 percent less symptoms than people who live more than 50 km from the coast.

While it is not clear why sea life is associated with positive effects on mental health, the researchers believe that the new findings support the idea that access to "blue spaces" - particularly coastal areas - are health and could improve wellbeing.

Director of Studies Dr. Jo Garrett said, “For the first time, our research suggests that people in poor coastal households have fewer symptoms of mental disorders. When it comes to mental health, this “protection zone” could play a useful role in balancing the conditions between people with high and low incomes. ”

Access to the coast

Dr. Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at Exeter University, said governments should be persuaded to protect, create, and promote coastal areas. “We need to help policymakers understand how to maximize well-being through“ blue spaces ”in cities and towns and ensure that access is fair and accessible for everyone without harming our sensitive coastal environment . "

It is of course important to note that the causes of mental illness are complex. Although the results of this study may be the deciding factor for living on the coast, it does not mean that living by the sea is a magical cure for all mental illnesses. Anyone struggling with their mental health should speak to a doctor or therapist about it - and not immediately look for an apartment on the coast. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University of Exeter: New research finds coastal living linked with better mental health, (access: 02.10.2019), University of Exeter
  • Health and Place: Coastal proximity and mental health among urban adults in England: The moderating effect of household income, (access: 02.10.2019), Health and Place

Video: Why nature is good for your mental health (January 2022).