Exploring the Benefits of Waterside Living
It’s no secret that a majority of people prefer to live near a body of water, let alone directly beside one. But did you know there are actual health benefits to living near the water…for example, the Lehigh River? Believe it! Not only can you partake in physical activity on the water, but simply being near it can influence your mind and body for the better. Numerous studies have encountered the benefits to waterside living as well as the benefits that exposure to greenspace has on humans. Here are a few that we found to be the most universal…
- In certain studies, it was proven that while undergoing a stressful procedure such a dental surgery, scenes with images of calm water, including subaquatic images, were much more restorative than those without. In the same experiment, scientists noticed that images with greenspace were reacted to as favorably as the images with seascapes.
- Visiting parks can increase your white blood cell count; in a recent study, both women and men who took a 2 hour walk in a park or forest experienced a spike in their white blood cell count. They believe this benefit is due to a chemical in plants and trees called phytoncides.
- “Blue Mind“, a term coined by J. Nichols, is named for the mildly meditative state our mind enters when we’re near water. Using brain imaging, scientists have found that proximity to water floods the brain with feel good hormones such as dopamine, seratonin and oxytosin. Levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, drop with the close proximity to water.
- Piggy backing off of #3, with our mind and body being primarily made up of water and taking into consideration our brain’s reaction when we’re near it, many forms of therapy have been created in association with the water. For example, there are several organizations helping veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by means of water sports. Operation Surf, takes the vets out in the ocean to surf, where Heroes on the Water brings them out fishing on kayaks. Each offer a peaceful activity as a stress outlet.
- Scientists found that when people step outside the office and into nature, even just for their lunch break they experience increased immune function. Subjects who spent this time outside had a lower concentration of cortisol, lower pulse level and lower blood pressure, thus an overall feeling of stress relief.
In summation, it’s pretty clear that simply being by the water and in greenspace positively influences human well-being. Being that most vacations are centered around a trip to the lake or the beach, as a means to escape and retreat from everyday life, this is nothing we didn’t already realize. However, understanding the science behind our feelings further implies the credibility of them.
Now, imagine living, working or relaxing in a bustling city’s hidden gem equipped with 360 degree views of a beautiful river…that’s what The Waterfront is all about!