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Health Benefits to Coastal Living

Cute signs crowd beach town shops that say phrases like, “Get me to the beach!” and “The beach is my happy place.”

Historically, people have been “sent to the sea” for convalescence, or recovering from an illness or medical treatment.

Why do so many people love the coast, and is there quantitative evidence of its effects on our wellbeing?


Physical Health

The European Centre for Environment & Human Health conducted a 2012 study that determined there is an “apparent gradient of increasing self-reported good health with proximity to the coast in England.” 

Source: Science Direct

Opportunities for stress reduction are abundant near the coast, with the so-called “blue space” of the ocean allowing humans to relax and unwind. One explanation for this could be that looking at a source of vastness puts individual problems into perspective.


Brain Relaxation

The University of Delaware measured brain waves while people looked at photos of nature that included either green space (vegetation such as trees and plants) or blue spaces (water). People who looked at blue-space pictures showed lower levels of brain activation, indicating that looking at pictures of water is relaxing for the brain.

Source: Medium

This may explain why so many doctors’ and dentists’ offices have photos of the beach in their waiting rooms. If you receive relaxation from just looking at photos of water, imagine what actually living at the coast could do for you.


Lower Distress Levels

Coastal living has proven good health and lower levels of brain activation, but what about mental health?

New Zealand researchers conducted a study in which they surveyed residents that had either suburban views or views of the ocean from their home. According to the study, “Our findings suggest that residents living in neighborhoods with increased views of blue spaces (predominantly oceanic) had lower distress levels.”

Source: Science Direct


With multiple studies conducted, including qualitative stories of how good people feel at the beach, it makes sense that living on the coast improves physical and mental health.

Are you a senior looking to improve your health? Visit The Cypress of Hilton Head today to call and schedule a tour of our beautiful campus, right near the water on Hilton Head Island. Your brain will thank you!

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