Living by the sea is a dream for many homeowners. Whether it’s basking in the sun or feeling the crisp salty air blow through your hair, there is something idyllic about the seaside. This fantasy, though, has also been backed up by science for quite some time. There are a range of proven advantages of living on the coast, including health benefits.
We’re not just being antisocial, living in cities or towns with a smaller population is great for your health. Fewer people means cleaner air, which is largely down to much less traffic on the roads in the average seaside areas compared to inland communities.
Breathing in clean air therefore not only ensures that our respiratory system runs to its maximum day-to-day, but also prolongs life expectancy.
Sea air improves quality of sleep
Ever fallen straight asleep after a seaside hike? There is more to it than your body recovering from the exercise. In 2015, the National Trust’s study confirmed that breathing in sea air helps you sleep 47 minutes longer the night after a hike. That’s some 35 minutes more than if you go for a walk inland.
Also, plants and trees that grow near water release Phytoncides, which fight microbes. Our white cell numbers increase when we breathe these in, meaning we are more likely to fight off infections. Living by the seaside is therefore brilliant for optimising our immune systems.
Salt water helps your body heal
Living by the sea can also produce physical health benefits. Sea water is rich in minerals such as magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, iodine and sulphur, many of which have curative and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. This is why so many facial and skin products contain seawater – which can also treat eczema-prone skin – and seaweed.
Additionally, the sea air contains a mist of saline water which has a soothing effect on the respiratory system’s mucosal lining, so people living with health conditions such as sinusitis could benefit from living by the sea.
A more active, and therefore healthier, lifestyle
Living closer to the sea increases levels of physical activity, mainly because there is a range of alternative ways to get active compared to living inland. Sailing, surfing or paddleboarding are all brilliant, enjoyable forms of exercise and, of course, swimming during the warmer months.
Dr Elliott from the University of Exeter told Coast magazine: “We know that when people go to the beach, there are opportunities to be physically active and people are more likely to stay there for longer. Physical activity has a strong effect on mental health, and when combined with being in a natural, coastal environment, these effects become even stronger.”
The coast boosts your mental health
Sea air accelerates your body’s ability to take in oxygen and helps us produce serotonin, the body’s hormone which makes us feel happy.
In 2019, doctors at the University of Exeter recorded substantial evidence which showed that those who live less than 1km from the coast are 22% less likely to have symptoms of mental health issues compared to those who live over 50km away.
You don’t even have to exercise to reap the rewards of coastal living. Simply lying back in a deckchair enjoying the sea, sand and sun can see your worries float away, a 2015 study found. The same study concluded that the sound of waves lowers heart rates dramatically.
So, there you have it. There’s a whole host of ways which living by the sea can improve your health. Interested in taking advantage of our wide range of exclusive seafront homes? Click here or give your local branch a call today!