The Health Benefits of Blue Spaces:  How Living by Water Makes You Happier and Less Stressed

Senior couple enjoying the beach.

Everyone knows about the popularity of a beach vacation. People work all year so they can afford to spend a week by the ocean or a lake. They choose a seaside destination because it’s beautiful and they find it relaxing, restorative and therapeutic; a way to unwind and have fun. But there’s growing evidence that the time we spend near water, or “blue spaces,” isn’t merely enjoyable. Research has been showing the real and measurable health benefits of living near water for some years now.

Twenty or more years ago, there was a lot of study of the benefits of spending time in “green spaces.” Getting back to nature was seen as a way to unplug, restore your happiness, and relax your mind. The escape from a loud urban environment; the smell of natural flora; and the clean, fresh air that comes with a walk in the woods all showed obvious benefits. Time spent near water was considered to have the same effect. But scientists have been demonstrating that being near water specifically has a calming effect on people that’s more impactful than simply being outside or even in nature.

 

The Science of Blue Spaces 

Several studies suggest that when people see and experience blue spaces, their blood pressure drops, they tend to focus less on the worries in their lives, and they get more exercise. The sight of the natural beauty, the sound of the waves, and the open space around you creates an almost meditative state that’s calming and peaceful. This calm state has been referred to as a “blue mind.” There’s even research that suggests time spent in blue spaces can help people manage symptoms of PTSD, anxiety disorders and even addiction.

The health benefits of living near water, especially the sea, have been well documented. People who live near the ocean tend to visit the water’s edge frequently, not only because it’s easy to get to, but it’s such a pleasing place to be. And the frequency of visits has a positive effect. While most people can only visit the coast occasionally, people who spend time at the water’s edge at least twice a week tend to experience better mental health and have a more positive outlook than those who don’t.

 

Why Does Living near Water Make You Happy?

The first reason for this is the environment itself. There’s going to be a lot of sunlight, which provides vitamin D and promotes a positive “sunny” attitude. Also, when you visit the coastline, you’re virtually guaranteed to get exercise. Even if you’re not swimming, you’re at least walking. And scientists believe that specifically being near the water itself has a restorative effect, even compared to parks and woods or other green spaces.

People who’ve been shown any sort of water source tend to rate it as pleasing and calming. Lakes, rivers, and even fountains and fish tanks were all shown to have a calming effect on people. But the health benefits of living near water increase as the amount of water increases. And for this, nothing beats the ocean. The steady rhythm of the waves and the wide-open expanse of water in your view is the perfect cure for the overstimulated state many people find themselves in when they’re living their busy lives. 

Scientists can only speculate why the health benefits of living near water are so uniquely impressive. Some speculate that the cause is evolutionary. It’s possible our ancestors realized that finding water was necessary for survival, and that the ocean provided an endless bounty. The positive result that came with life near water could have become hard-wired into our minds. 

 

One Long Beach Vacation

When you’re considering where to retire, you’re no doubt thinking about fun, relaxing, healthy places to live. And you might be dreaming of a move to the coast. When you’re deciding among places to retire near water, you need look no further than Lake Seminole Square retirement community. A luxurious waterfront lifestyle awaits you, with services and amenities designed for comfort and convenience. And with the ocean right outside your door, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation, all day, every day. Isn’t that what retirement should feel like?

Does living near water make you happy? Science says “yes.” But do you really need a scientific study to tell you that? The real and measurable health benefits of living near water can be yours, along with luxurious, resort-style living at Lake Seminole Square. 

Contact us to learn about our carefree and luxurious seaside lifestyle. We’ll also tell you about our Life Care options, so you’ll know all your needs will always be met. With that peace of mind, every day’s a walk on the beach.