The Geographer in me rushed at this article with abundant skepticism, thinking that it was going to be another example of poor reporting of research in the press, but the article doesn’t make grand unsubstantiated claims and looks at some of the possible conflicting reasons for the research results. Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter have crunched lots of census data to show that people in England who live 1km or less from the sea are more likely to say that they feel healthy. Reasons for this were not tested, but lots of possibilities are suggested.
Most of them are demographic rather than medical. I certainly know that there is a distance decay in the cost of housing as you travel inland in this area. Thats why I live 7 miles upstream from the estuary! I wonder if there is a correlation between visits to, or even potential access to, the coast and perceived health benefits? There is no doubt to me that whatever the weather or my frame of mind, there is a benefit in mental wellbeing from hearing the crashing of waves, smelling the spray, staring at the vast horizon, feeling the sand in your toes and ears and nibbling a bit of samphire.