According to the new Research Institute of Barcelona, short frequent walks in the blue spaces, areas where water is present, such as, beaches, lakes, rivers or fountains, can have a positive impact on the health and mood of people.
The study was published in the journal Environmental Research based on data from 59 adults. During one week the participants spent at least 20 minutes every day, walking in the blue space. In the next week walking has been replaced by the city, another week was devoted to rest in the room. Before, during and after each outing, the researchers measured blood pressure and heart rate of the participants and used a questionnaire to assess their mood and well being.
“We saw a significant improvement in health and mood of participants immediately after they went for a walk on a blue space, compared to walks in an urban environment or relaxing in the room,” says mark Nieuwenhuijsen, the study coordinator.
The authors have not identified any benefits to the health of the cardiovascular system, although they believe that this may be due to the short duration of the experiment.