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Walking on beach is the key to happiness

Psychological benefits may be the reason why so many people like to be beside the seaside.

A study has found that a walk on a beach has more impact on emotional well-being than a stroll in the park.

Researchers looked at data from 2,750 participants in a two-year study of people's engagement with the natural environment. All outdoor locations were associated with positive feelings of enjoyment, calmness and refreshment.

But visits to the coast were the most beneficial, while urban parks had the least effect.

The trend remained after taking account of age, distance of travel, the presence of others, and type of activity.

Mathew White, from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall, said: "It is time to start looking at the effect different natural environments have on people's health and well-being."