Wouldn't it be awesome to live in a beachfront house or a waterfront villa? Here is one more reason why you should.
A new study has found that people living with a view of the water are less likely to be stressed out.
The study was carried out by researchers Amber Pearson, an assistant professor of health geography at Michigan State University and Daniel Nutsford from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
In their study, water-related spaces such as beaches or oceans were referred to as the "Blue Space" and greenery-related spaces such as parks and forests were called as the "Green Space."
"Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress," said Pearson, assistant professor of health geography and a member of MSU's Water Science Network. "However, we did not find that with green space."
Researchers carried out their study across urban, residential areas in Wellington, New Zealand. They studied the visibility of blue and green spaces that the residents from different locations in the city were exposed to.
To analyze the psychological factors of the citizens, the authors examined data from the New Zealand Health Survey.
Even after weighing down other pivotal parameters such as age, gender, wealth and other related factors, it was found that better mental health was probably linked to the view of the beach or ocean. Green space, supposedly, did not have the same impact as the blue.
Pearson feels the reason behind this could be that forests or green spaces are quite similar to man-made areas such as playgrounds and fields. Whereas, the blue space was all natural water bodies. Maybe if the focus had just been on naturally made forest, the results might have been different, she presumes.
The results of this study may have a serious impact on designing future houses, buildings and other infrastructures. People may become more keen to construct homes and offices in waterfront locations or with the view of the sea, given the uplifting effect that the scenery can have on mental health.
However, researchers are yet to determine if the same benefits are applicable to other water bodies such as lakes and rivers. Further research and investigations would be needed to be carried out to find out more about the mental health impact of these other "blue spaces."
The study appears in the May issue of the academic journal Health & Place.
Photo: Thomas Ricker | Flickr