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Health Benefits of Living Near the Ocean

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

health benefits of living by the ocean

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  • Urban adults living 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) or less from the coast had better mental health than those living more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) away
  • When household income was factored in, the study showed that for the lowest income respondents there was a 40% lower risk of poor mental health for those living within 0.6 miles of the coast compared to those living 31 miles away
  • Even among those living between 0.6 miles and 3.1 miles from the coast, there was a 25% lower risk of poor mental health compared to those living farther away
  • In Europe, the BlueHealth project is looking into how inland waterways and coasts affect health promotion and disease
  • Canadian research also revealed that living near water reduced the risk of premature death by 12% to 17% among urban residents, particularly for deaths related to stroke or respiratory-related causes

Many people dream of living near the ocean, and perhaps there’s an intrinsic reason why. Coastal living may be good for mental health, according to a study by researchers from the University of Exeter, England. The research builds on prior studies linking natural environments to mental health and well-being, and suggests that you may be able to boost your mood and more by choosing to live near the sea.

In the U.S., counties directly on a shoreline make up less than 10% of total land area (with the exception of Alaska), yet 39% of the population resides in them. Further, more people continue to seek out coastal living.

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