ST. LOUIS, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Many people who head to the beach may do so to escape daily pressures, but U.S. researchers say some times are better at the beach than others.
Aaron Hipp, an environmental health expert and assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University In St. Louis, said beachgoers found the beach less restorative if they perceived the air or water quality to be average or below-average.
“Mild temperature days and low tides offer the most restorative environments when visiting the beach,” Hipp said in a statement. “Beachgoers visiting on a day nearly 3 degrees F warmer than average were 30 percent less likely to perceive the beach or coastal park as restorative, compared to those visiting on average or cooler than average days.”
Hipp and study co-author Oladele A. Ogunseitan, a professor of social ecology at the University of California, Irvine, surveyed 1,153 visitors to the beaches in the California State Parks system.
“Studies have shown that natural environments like beaches and waterfront parks offer more restorative benefits to people than gyms, entertainment venues and the built urban environment,” Hipp said in a statement. “Natural environments are vulnerable to global climate changes, including changes in air quality, water quality, increases in temperature, extreme weather events and sea level rise. Few urban parks have planned for vulnerabilities to potential climate change on existing parks, much less the associated health effects to visitors.”
The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.