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08 August 2012
Do you live by the sea? Do you live by a burbling brook? Perhaps you live near a sweeping inland plain or at the foot of an inspiring mountain or at the apex of a green and rolling hill? Where you live certainly has an impact on the quality and nature of your life. Just how far that impact reaches and how uniform it is becomes a subject for debate but a new study has thrown up a new element to that debate by seeking to establish if some locations are more conducive to wellbeing and health than others.
The study was done in the UK so how exactly the findings extend to the rest of the world remains unclear but there are certainly interesting suggestions as to how the rest of the world may operate.
The researchers used data from the 2001 census for England which brought together responses from 48 million people. They looked at the percentage of people who reported their health as being “good” (as opposed to “fairly good” or “not good”) and correlated that with where people lived.
The results showed that people living by the sea were more likely to report their health as being good compared to people living inland. The researchers say that the reason for this could be the reduction in stress that comes from time near the sea. More sophisticated studies need to be done to establish a causal link between living by the sea and good health but this study certainly suggests a correlation.
Is it sacrilegious to twist a Beatles lyric to sum all this up by saying, “I’d like to be, living by the sea”? Maybe we’ll just steal that dreadful but very apt Honeydrippers’ lyric, “come with me, to the sea” and leave it at that.