Neuroscientists Strongly Recommend Regular Visits to the Beach
Posted on Saturday, February 02nd
Visits to the beach psychologically restore us, enabling us to better handle the stress of everyday life, a new study finds.
City life stresses us out psychologically and physically, but an occasional retreat to the sea can help us avoid stress-related health problems, researchers say.
“Beaches and waterfront parks offer more restorative benefits to people than gyms, entertainment venues and the built urban environment,” says J. Aaron Hipp, professor of community health at North Carolina State University.
In a survey of over 1000 California beach-goers, Hipp and his team found those who experienced the most stress in daily life found the beach the most psychologically restorative.
Earlier studies have already proven the ability of natural environments to psychologically restore us, reduce heart rate, improve mood and concentration, and boost our sense of overall well-being and quality of life, but Hipp’s study looked specifically at the power of the surf and sand.
“Blue spaces” — such as riversides and the seashore — afford visitors the opportunity to recover from stress and restore the mental faculties needed to meet the demands of everyday life, says the study, published in The Journal of Environmental Psychology.