As if you needed justification to head to the shore some time this summer, a new British study found that people who live near the coast tend to report better health than those who live inland. Researchers are quick to point out the effects are small and that the study can’t prove cause-and-effect, but they do believe there are reasons behind the beach’s health-boosting traits—namely, more opportunities for physical activity and lower levels of stress. (It’s hard not to notice—and envy—the relaxed, no-need-to-rush manner of local residents at the sleepy beach towns on the Jersey Shore or Fire Island, New York, I’ve visited recently).
And while the study only looked at those who live near the coast, you can probably make the leap that even a short vacation could boast mood-lifting qualities. So book yourself a trip to the beach—just don’t forget the sunscreen.
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