The past few years have been difficult for everyone. However, for some, their health diminished as they were unable to socialize, travel or simply spend time outdoors. Being out in nature can help to boost mental health and reduce stress, but being near water also has benefits. Below are the key health benefits of blue space.
In recent years urban developers and designers have started using the term blue space to refer to visible water. This can include rivers, lakes, ports, marinas, streams, ponds, the ocean, or even fountains. As times change, blue spaces are becoming popular destinations and attractions, especially within densely populated areas.
A number of studies already show that green spaces and natural environments have a positive effect on mood and stress. However, newer studies look at the benefits of blue spaces in particular and how water impacts mental health. Below are some of the benefits these studies are finding.
Many studies show that being near the ocean or lake shore can offer a meditative quality. This is due to the movement of the water, along with the sound of water hitting rocks or the shoreline. These details make it easy to immerse yourself in the environment and let go of the stress and worries plaguing your brain. For many, this experience can help boost their mood and allow a brain reset.
Being outdoors is great for your cardiovascular health, and being near water is no different. Add in the fresh breeze and lovely views and you have the perfect location for walking or exercising. Even those who do not enjoy the gym, often enjoy a walk along the river or beach. One study shows a significant increase in physical activity by those who moved to a neighborhood with blue space.
Some studies are currently looking at correlations between longer lifespans and being near blue spaces. There are also studies looking at the reduction in diabetes ad lower rates of obesity in areas with blue spaces. These studies are also researching the various types of blue spaces and the effect that may have on people, from streams to the ocean. This is partially why retirement villages or communities popular with baby boomer retirees are near water.
With AI or artificial intelligence becoming more popular, studies are also looking at the effects of digital blue space on peoples’ emotional and physical health. Early studies show that people use AI blue spaces via video or VR to help relax and reduce stress. Simply listening to the sound of waves hitting the shore can be enough to help curb anxiety. Therefore, AI blue spaces could be beneficial for those in urban cities without access to blue spaces.
Many cities around the US are looking at how to incorporate blue spaces. Not only do blue spaces help our health, but they are also beneficial to the environment and animals. Thus, as cities aim to improve their environmental impact, they are looking at ways to incorporate more bodies of water, whether man-made or natural. These spaces also aim to build a local community and encourage socialization.
There are various health benefits of blue space, from physical to mental health. Additionally, the introduction of blue spaces in urban areas can help the local ecosystem. In the ten years, many cities aim to have walkable blue spaces connected with the current green spaces to benefit local residents.