Scientists have found that being near water makes people happier

(ORDO NEWS) — There is nothing more purifying than an ocean view. And no, we’re not just talking about the fact that salt water magically cleanses our skin and sinuses.

Something about the vast water makes us feel small and puts everything in its place. No wonder people flock to the nearest body of water at the sight of a long weekend – it’s literally part of who we are.

“Most of the Earth‘s surface is covered with water, and most of the human body is made up of water – two facts that illustrate the critical links between water, health and ecosystems,” says the World Health Organization.

Not surprisingly, having enough water in our lives improves our well-being, and recent research also confirms this. The BlueHealth project is a four-year research initiative that aimed to understand this connection between water and well-being.

A group of researchers led by Matthew White studied this phenomenon by interviewing more than 18,000 people across Europe. The findings confirmed the link between being near water and happiness.

One study found that simply walking in a blue space (where water is visible) for 20 minutes a day immediately improves mood, compared to walking in more urban settings. For those unable to go outside for health reasons or mobility, another study showed that

As urbanization increases, so do public health concerns. People living in densely populated areas are more prone to chronic disease (due to lack of physical activity) and poor mental health.

Not to mention, urban sprawl also has negative effects on the climate, including increased air pollution and lack of access to healthy drinking water.

BlueHealth believes that incorporating blue infrastructure (accessible water features) into urban planning can be the solution to this formidable problem.

Blue space in urban areas can help provide more opportunities for social connection and physical activity, which in turn helps reduce stress and negative health outcomes. The project also provides resources

Being close to water can increase overall life satisfaction and even help us live longer. You may have heard of places that are considered “blue zones” – Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California.

These five locations have the highest concentration of centenarians on earth, and four of them are close to the coast. Coincidence? We think not.

An association has been found between living in close proximity to water and longevity. One study in Canada followed over a million people and found a significant reduction in mortality among those who lived within 250 meters of water, as well as a potential protective effect against stroke and respiratory-related deaths (especially among women and the elderly).

Residents of the hinterlands, don’t be discouraged. Visiting works too! A new study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning suggests that frequent shoreline visits can also promote relaxation and reduce stress. Frequent visitors to the Blue Spaces note an overall sense of recovery that serves as a cognitive reset to help rest and rejuvenate the body.

The next time you set a reminder to drink water, set a reminder to go outside. Even if you can’t afford a beachfront home in Malibu (like most of us), the benefits of water extend far beyond the coast.

Walk around the local lake, take a lunch break in front of a bubbling fountain, or enjoy the view while crossing the bridge. The results may surprise you.


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