Looking out over the ocean can improve mental health

Posted on May 3, 2016

Carried out by researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Michigan State University in the US, the study looked at a possible association between an increased visibility of nature and a lower level of psychological distress.

The team surveyed around 450 adults in Wellington City, New Zealand and used data on the visibility of “blue” space and “green” space from residential locations in the area.

Blue space included the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, which surround Wellington, while green space included forests and grassy parks.

After taking into account factors such as participant’s wealth, age and gender, the team found that an increased visibility of blue space was significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress. However, they did not find the same results for an increased visibility of green space.

Amber L. Pearson, one of the co-authors of the study, explained that the visibility of green space may not have shown the same positive effect as blue space because the study did not distinguish between different types of green space. Whereas blue space was all natural in the study, including the sea and ocean, green space included man-made area such as sports fields as well as all-natural forests.

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Source material from Malaysia Today

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