Our Love of Living Near Water Persists Despite the Dangers

June 10, 2021
coastal areas
mental health

Many people find that living near coasts, lakes and rivers is highly enriching.

Wallace J. Nichols, author of ‘Blue Mind’, suggests that proximity to bodies of water can induce a state of ‘soft fascination’, a form of low-intensity stimulus that holds attention but requires little effort. This promotes relaxation and boosts creativity.

Such suggestions are also backed-up by research. One 2015 study of UK census records, for instance, established a link between living by the coast and enhanced health and wellbeing. Interestingly, the research found that the benefits may be greatest among socio-economically deprived communities, reflecting the greater number of opportunities for stress reduction and increased physical activity.

Nevertheless, threats from extreme weather and climate change mean that coastal living is not without its risks.