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People healthier by the seaside

17th July 2012

Researchers who carried out an analysis of census data have said that people who live on the coastline are "more likely" to report good health.

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The research found that residing in areas such as St Ives or Scarborough was associated with a "small, but significant" health improvement.

The research, which was published in the Health and Place journal, examined census data collected from 48 million people in England in 2001.

The researchers, from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, drew comparisons on how near respondents lived to the sea and how they responded to a personal health question.

They said people who lived 1km or less from the sea were more likely to say they were in "good health".

The lead researcher Dr Ben Wheeler said many reasons were being considered for the connection.

"One of the most obvious is the opportunity for physical activity or being more motivated to go for a walk along the coast," he said.

He added that another reason could be that people with more money and healthier lifestyles were more likely to move near the sea.

He told the BBC: "They are possibly moving to the coast and bringing their good health with them."

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