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Report: Coastal residents 'healthier' than those living inland

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Image: Coastal living may deliver health benefits

New research from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) has found that people are "more likely" to have better health if they live closer to the coast.

The report used data compiled from the 2001 census undertaken in England to examine how health levels varied across the country, with responses from more than 48 million people.

Researchers from the centre looked at the proportion of people who described their health as "Good" and compared the figure with how close those participants were to the coast.

Age, gender and other socio-economic factors were also considered, with the results showing - on average - coastal populations are more likely to describe their health as "Good".

While the report's authors point out the effect is relatively small, there could be "substantial" impacts on public health if applied across the whole population.

Previous research on the matter has shown that coastal environments may offer opportunities for residents to be more active, while also contributing towards stress reduction.

Lead author Dr Ben Wheeler said: "We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but there is strikingly little evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and wellbeing.

"By analysing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect, although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect."

Dr Mathew White added: "While not everyone can live by the sea, some of the health promoting features of coastal environments could be transferable to other places."

Details: www.ecehh.org

Image: Jaroslaw Grudzinski/shutterstock.com

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New research from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) has found that people are "more likely" to have better health if they live closer to the coast.
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