If you live near a beach, a river, or a lake, researchers from Barcelona say you should not miss an opportunity to spend more time there. It is beneficial for your mental health to take short, frequent walks along the beach have a tremendous effect on people’s well-being and mood.
More than half of the world population now lives in urban areas. So take advantage of:
Green spaces like:
- Rural lands
Blue spaces like:
- Even, fountains
These can be a relaxing sanctuary for city dwellers. Numerous studies have shown that regularly spending time in green spaces has a positive effect on physical and mental health. It may also:
- Lower the risk of obesity.
- Improve attention capacities in children.
- Slow down, the physical decline in older adults.
New research from Barcelona proved that blue-spaces are just as powerful in improving mood as green-spaces.
Over three weeks, 59 adults were asked to spend, 20 minutes every day, in 3 different locations:
- The first week: walking along a beach.
- The second week: walking in an urban environment.
- The third week: just relaxing indoors.
Researchers used questionnaires to track participants’ moods before, during, and after each activity. Their heart rate and blood pressure were also measured.
Participants reported a significant improvement in their mood right after they finished the beach walk, compared with resting or walking along the city streets.
What about heart health?
The analysis didn’t show any significant changes. Study authors suggest more long-term studies are needed to track the cardiovascular benefits of spending time in blue spaces.
How about happiness?
Interestingly, a study conducted 7 years ago, studied the impact of various environments, on people’s happiness. The majority of participants named, coastal and sea areas by far the happiest locations, especially compared to urban spaces.