Comment: Smile you’re on the beach

Why do you like the beach? Because it’s a place where you go to relax, exert energy, cry and laugh, stare beyond the horizon and breathe fresh air? Because it’s your happy space?

As a Beach Happiness researcher with beach health and community wellbeing at heart I believe you like the beach because it makes you feel happy.

Research supports the theory that people are most happy when immersed in marine and coastal environments. Researchers from the UK surveyed over 20,000 Brits and found a majority of people were happier in beach environments.

This begs the question: what happens when a beach is unhealthy? Does people’s happiness at the beachdecrease? Astonishingly there has been little research linking beach health with people’s happiness.

Focusing on the happier aspects of coastal sustainability has created a way to assess community use, values and happiness at the beach and could ultimately transform approaches to coastal issues like unsustainable development, responses to coastal hazards or even everyday beach user issues.

Beach happiness may provide a ‘new compass’ to grasp and envision what is needed to achieve happy coastal communities and sustainable beaches.

 

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