People who live close to the coast have greater well-being than people who live inland, studies show.
WASHINGTON — The age-old wisdom that being near the seaside is good for your health may be true, studies suggest.
People often focus on the threats the ocean poses to human health, whether it's storms and floods, harmful algal blooms or pollution. But research shows that spending time by the ocean has many positive effects on health and well-being, epidemiologist Lora Fleming of the University of Exeter in England, said here on Wednesday (June 26) at a science policy conference of the American Geophysical Union.
The notion that being near a beach makes one feel healthy is not new, of course. Doctors were prescribing trips to the shore or visits to "bathing hospitals" — special clinics that offered seawater bath treatments — as early as the 18th century. But only recently have scientists begun studying the ocean's health benefits experimentally, Fleming said.