People living near the coast tend to be healthier than those who live inland, according to scientists in the UK.
A study published on Tuesday showed the link between living near the coast and good health was strongest in the most economically deprived communities.
Lead author Ben Wheeler said: "We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but there is strikingly little evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and well-being.
"By analysing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect, although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect."
Researchers looked at the proportion of people who reported their health as being "good", rather than "fairly good" or "not good" and then compared this with how close those respondents lived to the coastline.
They also took into account the way that age, sex and a range of social and economic factors, like education and income, vary across the UK.
The results show that, on average, populations living by the sea report rates of good health more than similar populations living inland.
The study was conducted by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter in the UK.
Previous research from the Devon-based academics had shown that the coastal environment also provided significant benefits in terms of stress reduction.
Researchers said one reason those living in coastal communities may attain better physical health could be due to the stress relief offered by spending time near the sea.
Dr Wheeler said: "We need to carry out more sophisticated studies to try to unravel the reasons that may explain the relationship we're seeing.