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Beach is the best place for R&R

Apr 20th, 2012
LifeApps, Inc.

Beaches may be the best places for physical and mental rejuvenation, a new study suggests.

While communing with nature is beneficial in general, British researchers looked at data from 2,750 English people participating in the two-year Natural England study, an exploration of people’s engagement with the natural environment. They found that any exposure to nature increases positive feelings and relaxation, but the maximum benefit seems to come from being at the coast compared spending time in an urban park or the countryside.

This finding remained when the researchers considered factors like people's age, how far they had traveled, the presence of others and the activity they undertook.

"There is a lot of work on the beneficial effects of visiting natural environments, but our findings suggest it is time to move beyond a simple urban versus rural debate and start looking at the effect that different natural environments have on people's health and well-being," said Dr. Mathew White from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and co-author of the study.

The research was presented Thursday at the British Psychological Society annual conference in London.

Photo credit: Public Health Image Library