We really do like to be beside the seaside, say psychologists
00:27 GMT, 19 April 2012
It may be something to do with the soothing sound of the waves but – in accordance with the music hall song – we do like to be beside the seaside, psychologists have confirmed.
Given the choice of the beach, the countryside or a town park – the coast wins hands down.
A study of data on 2,750 people aged eight to 80 collected by Natural England was analysed by researchers at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth.
Bliss: The study found trips to the coast led people to feel 'refreshed and calm'
It showed people of all ages who had made a recent visit to the seaside, countryside or open spaces in towns reported positive feelings.
But trips to the coast ‘led to the highest positive feelings, with more people feeling refreshed and calm’, said Mathew White, of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall.
Dr White will tell the British Psychological Society’s annual meeting in London today that feeling good beside the seaside may be ‘hard-wired’ into people’s brains.
Another theory is that people are continually exposed to ‘promotion’ of the sea as a ‘good thing’.
He said the findings could benefit health as there was mounting evidence that positive feelings may protect against ill-health.
Reflex: Psychologists think feeling good beside the sea may be 'hard-wired' into people's brains