Imagine sitting in bed and staring out at a blue expanse. Sweeping ocean views from your bedroom window are enough to make anyone feel refreshed and happier.
There are several health benefits of living by the sea. Those who struggle with respiratory conditions, poor sleep quality and depression may find coastal living is just what the doctor ordered. Here are six reasons you might move near an ocean for optimal health and wellbeing.
1. Better Air Quality
Those who live by the sea have the advantage of excellent air quality. That’s because the ocean emits bromine and iodine — halogenic compounds that reduce ozone pollution.
Ozone — nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds released from cars, industrial plants and other manufactured sources — harms humans. Poor air quality is so dangerous it causes nearly 100,000 to 200,000 deaths annually in the United States.
2. Vitamin D
Beach residents get plenty of sunshine, which is ideal for those who need a boost of vitamin D. Absorbing vitamin D is essential for building bone and muscle strength, inhibiting various cancer formations, and preventing heart disease and diabetes.
3. Outdoor Recreation
Who wouldn’t want to spend their free time outdoors when there’s a breathtaking ocean view? Those living on the coast may feel more inclined to exercise outside. Taking a long stroll on the beach, swimming and playing volleyball are just a few activities people enjoy.
Of course, living by the shore has its risks, such as extreme storms. During these weather events, avoiding hazardous marine debris on the beach is crucial.
Although most tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean, consider that they cause 10 times the normal amount of marine debris after an occurrence. Intense hurricanes can be just as dangerous.
4. Improved Mental Health
Studies have called the coast a “therapeutic landscape” — anywhere that generates positivity and physical well-being. Most often, people feel a sense of awe, nostalgia and safety at the beach. Other studies have shown living within 1 kilometer of the beach encourages people to visit more often, resulting in a brighter mood and a lower risk of developing a mental health condition.
5. Reduced Respiratory Inflammation
If you think you breathe more easily at the beach, you’re not imagining things. Inhaling the salty air can reduce sinus and lung inflammation, and open your airways. Many people have turned to halotherapy to treat common respiratory ailments like a bad cold, allergies, bronchitis and asthma.
Halotherapy releases salt in a controlled setting at 18° to 24° Celsius — about 64° to 75° Fahrenheit. These environments are often 40–60% humidity, too. Others try saline rinses to decrease airway inflammation. Those living by the beach can achieve similar halotherapy results by opening their beach house windows for a comfortable, salty breeze.
6. More Restful Sleep
Nearly one-third of adults have insomnia, with 10% experiencing severe symptoms, making it the most common sleep disorder worldwide. However, you might discover you sleep more soundly when you live by the ocean.
Studies have shown listening to pleasant sounds like ocean waves induces restfulness and improved sleep quality. One reason could be ocean waves’ cyclical nature. Why invest in a sound machine when you can listen to crashing waves outside your bedroom window?
Live At The Beach To Improve Your Health
The beach is the perfect vacation spot for a much-needed escape. However, you can capture the incredible mental and physical health benefits of living near the sea year-round. Moving to the beach is an excellent idea to improve your wellbeing and happiness at every stage of life.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.