Wish to lead a relaxed life with a sea-facing house? Here’s another reason for you to save for a beach-facing house as the sight of water is linked to less stress and improved mental health, researchers say.
The findings revealed that even after taking into account residents’ wealth, age, sex and other neighbourhood factors, having a view of the ocean was associated with improved mental health.
“Increased views of blue space are significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Amber L. Pearson from Michigan State University’s water science network in the US.
“However, we did not find that with green space,” Pearson added.
Using various topography data, the team studied the visibility of blue and green spaces from residential locations; green spaces included forests and grassy parks.
The national survey used the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, or K10, which has proven to be an accurate predictor of anxiety and mood disorders.
They found a strong link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space. Visibility of green space did not show the same calming effect.
“It could be because the blue space was all natural, while the green space included human-made areas, such as sports fields and playgrounds, as well as natural areas such as native forests,” Pearson said.
Designating a proportion of high-rise buildings or affordable homes in locations with ocean views could potentially promote mental health.
The study is scheduled to be published in the May issue of the academic journal Health & Place.