The river Thames acts as a tourist attraction, a transportation platform, and a home to many different species and wildlife. But how does that relate to human health and wellbeing? Empirical evidence published in recent years concludes that spending time in ‘green’ and ‘blue’ spaces can have positive physical, mental and emotional health effects. Whether you enjoy taking leisurely strolls along the Thames Path, riding a boat down the river, or just sitting near the water to revel in the sights, smells and sounds, the Thames plays an important role in our overall wellbeing. The Thames Estuary Partnership is interested to see how Londoners perceive and utilize the river, and how that utilization can be enhanced for the benefit of resident health and wellbeing.
Tell us what YOU think of the river with our questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YSD3NHH
While parks are an essential aspect of our urban landscape, a recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open suggests that positive associations between blue space (i.e. rivers, lakes, oceans) and mental health might be stronger than those of green spaces. Another study conducted in Wellington, New Zealand concluded that higher levels of blue space visibility, particularly in urban areas are associated with lower psychological distress. London has the unique and distinct advantage of being a coastal city. This means that London residents and visitors alike have access to a natural wonder that can actually improve their overall health and wellbeing.
In general, spending time near the river Thames can:
- Decrease psychological stress
- Encourage physically active lifestyles
- Foster a sense of connection and/or identity between people and the river
FIND OUT MORE