- Spending Time in the Coast is More Beneficial than in an Urban Park, Study Says -

By Helen Holmes republished on February 08, 2018

Spending time outdoors is good for the health. But if you want to maximise its benefits, it’s better to take a walk on the seaside than in an urban park, reports a new study.

Why Take a Walk on the Seaside?

The research was lead by Katherine Ashbullby and Dr Mathew White from the White from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH), Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, and the School of Psychology, University of Plymouth. They looked at the data of 2,750 Brits who were drawn from a two-year study made by the Natural England, a non-departmental body in the UK, regarding the health benefits of engaging with the environment. They found out that staying outdoors has positive effects to one’s feelings, regardless of the location – whether it’s an urban park, forest, or countryside. Those who take a break from their usual routine and explore the environment reported to have experienced enjoyment, calmness, and refreshment. But among the frequently-visited places, going to the coast was the most beneficial and going to the urban parks was the least.

When comparing the results, the researchers took into consideration several factors such as the age of the respondents, how far they’ve travelled, people they were with, and what activities they have tried. According to Dr White, visiting natural environments have lots of beneficial effects but people should start looking for places where they will get the most benefits.

Yesterday, Dr White presented their findings at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

Benefits of Walking on the Beach

The changing colours of the water and sky and the refreshing air alone makes many people fall in love with the beach. But besides the beautiful view of the sea, walking on the seaside has many benefits not just to your mental health but to your physical wellbeing as well.

Walking on the beach exercises your muscles.

It’s easier to walk on a flat, hard surface than on the sand. Because of this, your muscles and tendons work together to provide you with the ability to walk properly. Furthermore, walking on the sand requires 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy than walking on hard surface.

Walking on the beach helps you lose calories

You lose 20 to 50 calories by walking on the sand than you would by walking on hard surfaces. But if you plan to walk a longer distance, make sure you wear slippers or shoes to prevent sore tendons on your heel.

There’s less pollution on the beach than in urban parks

No one would park their car on the sand. If you want to take some fresh air, there’s no better place than to visit the seaside. Aside from this, you also feed your body with lots of vitamin D which is needed for a healthy, glowing skin. But, make sure to apply some sun block cream or lotion to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.

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