Elderly with sea view at lower risk of depression

Older people living with a sea view are at less risk of developing depression than those with no view at all, new research has shown.

A study carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), using data from the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing, found the presence of a “blue space” had substantial benefits for the mental health of older residents living nearby.

The research combined data from a survey carried out on people aged over 50, which asked them to document their mental health history before then comparing the history to the location of their homes.

Those living along the coast were shown to have a lower risk of depression, attributed to greater physical activity and social interaction, while those living with “extensive” sea views were deemed to be at the lowest risk.

Anne Nolan, a researcher with the ESRI who conducted the study, said the findings should be used to influence public policy.

“These findings underlie the public health benefits of policies to protect and enhance coastal blue spaces, and suggest that urban planning should take these benefits into account,” she said.

However, the study also points to the higher cost of buying and renting properties in coastal locations, due in part to a greater variety of amenities and leisure activities.

It also pointed to a link between those on a lower income and a risk of developing depression.

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