Making Waves Towards Better Health

Making Waves Towards Better Health

While government and industry are working together to deliver more consolidated growth over the coming years, striving for a greater balance between infill and new development, the demand for new land along WA’s beautiful coast is likely to continue well into the future.

Developing land along the coast not only satisfies West Australians’ lifestyle aspirations for coastal living, new research provides evidence that the health and wellbeing benefits of living on the coast is undeniable.

This research reinforces the importance of good planning in coastal areas to ensure improved access to the coast for residents and visitors, including coastal infrastructure and facilities, while respecting the environment and natural assets of these areas.

As climate change and sea level rise increase in prevalence, planning for these future impacts will also be crucial to the longevity of our coastal assets.

University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute Associate Professor Dr Hayley Christian says it is the result of human’s innate need to connect with nature that the coast provides so many benefits.

“It’s to do with the biophilia hypothesis,” Dr Christian said. “We know that when we connect with these natural forms it relaxes us, reduces stress, and restores us.

“There are also social benefits too. When people are in contact with these natural spaces, it gets them out of their home, out of their car, out of their office and they’re exposed to nature and other people. It’s a way for people to socially connect with their communities.”

While this statement is true whether a person is visiting a green space, such as a park, or visiting a blue space, such as the beach, Dr Christian said it was the connection with the latter that may have a bigger impact on health and wellbeing.

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