People who live with a water view have better mental health, new research finds.
It is the first research to find a link between ‘blue space’ (as opposed to ‘green space’) and mental well-being.
If you ever wondered why properties with a water view command such a premium, this could be part of the answer.
Dr Amber L. Pearson, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress.
However, we did not find that with green space.”
Other research, though, has found a link between green space and mental well-being:
And even glancing at a simple grassy rooftop has some cognitive benefits:
The research involved residential locations in Wellington, New Zealand.
The city is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Tasman Sea to the north.
The researchers took into account people’s sex, age, wealth and other factors, but still found a link between seeing water and better mental health.
The same effect was not seen for green spaces, but this might be a shortcoming of the research.
Dr Pearson said:
“It could be because the blue space was all natural, while the green space included human-made areas, such as sports fields and playgrounds, as well as natural areas such as native forests.
Perhaps if we only looked at native forests we might find something different.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Health & Place (Nutsford et al., 2016).