There is increasing appreciation of the benefits associated with exposure to natural environments. However, most of the evidence relates to green space with much less on blue space. Drawing on data from a British survey
of adults, we describe the characteristics of visits to blue space and investigate whether the benefits reported in studies of green space – physical activity, social interaction, and psychological benefits – are evident with respect to blue space.
We also examine the importance of nature to people’s visits to blue space and investigate the sociodemographic predictors of visit frequency and location, the benefits received, and the importance of nature to the visit. Social interaction and psychological benefits were the most important benefits obtained from visiting blue space. Socioeconomic status was a predictor of both frequency and location of visits and was also associated with identifying social interaction as the most important benefit. Respondents who reported psychological benefits as the most important benefit were more likely to find nature very important to their visit. The importance of nature in underpinning these benefits was relatively greater for older people compared with younger people. These findings highlight the social and psychological benefits obtained from visits to blue space, and provide new evidence on the importance of the natural environment in underpinning these benefits and enriching people’s lives.
Lees verder: The importance of nature in mediating social and psychological benefits associated with visits to freshwater blue space (Bell & Graham 2017)