Short walk on beaches, river and lake side boost mental health

Walking On Two Legs Emerged While Moving Among Trees

Walking is considered healthy for the body and the mind. Now a new study has found that short frequent walks near beaches, rivers and lakes can have a positive effect on people’s well-being and mood.

The study was conducted by Barcelona Institute for Global Health within the BlueHealth project. The study analysed 59 adults. They were asked to walk 20 minutes each day in a blue space in a week. The next week they were asked to walk in an urban environment. And another week, the participants spent the same time resting indoors.

The blue space route was along a beach in Barcelona, while the urban route was along city streets. Before, during and after each activity, researchers measured the participants’ blood pressure and heart rate and used questionnaires to assess their well-being and mood.

Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at ISGlobal and coordinator of the study Mark Nieuwenhuijsen said that they came across a big change in the mood and well being after the people walked in blue space when compared to walking in urban surroundings.

Though the study looked into the mental aspect, they did not look into the cardio effects. However, ISGlobal researcher Cristina Vert said hoped that continuous exposure to these blue spaces might have positive effects on cardiovascular health. Vert also said that their study show the importance of environment on health.

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