We’re stating the obvious when we say that being on the water makes us happy. We design and race spirit-of-tradition yachts and the closest harbor is less than a mile from our office. We live near the water, we work near the water and we design for a life on the water. We know we are not alone – research continues to prove that time spent near the water is good for your mental and physical health.
Being near the water is calming, restorative and promotes well-being. The mildly meditative state that results from our interaction with water has been coined “blue mind” by marine biologist and best-selling author, Wallace J. Nichols. In his book, Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, Nichols delves into our relationship with water. He outlines research showing improvements in creativity, our ability to focus and the rush of feel-good hormones we get by interacting with water. Conversely, stress and anxiety levels lower.
In an interview with Quartz, Nichols stated, “Water is considered the elixir and source of life. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, makes up nearly 70% of our bodies…This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation. Thanks to science, we’re now able to connect the dots to the full range of emotional benefits being on, in, or near the water can bring.”
Meanwhile, a study in the UK conducted through the Blue Gym Initiative measured participants stress levels as they looked at photographs of landscapes. Stress levels decreased when green space increased. When water – referred to as blue space- was added in the image, they showed an even greater preference for the photos.
It is no wonder then, according to Trip Advisors’ last Travel Trends Report, that 57% of global travelers opt for a beach destination and aquatic activities dominate the list of the fastest growing categories in travel.
Driving home the point is a 2015 study conducted by YourGov that revealed that the world’s favorite color is – you got it – blue.
The benefits from spending time on or in the water is what led us to expand our business and launch Immerst. We know that not everyone wants to experience the water through boat ownership so we came up with an alternative. Our OASys (Ocean Architecture System) is the perfect solution for time on the water. Our units truly immerse you in your surroundings, giving you blue space in real time. It’s a catalyst for relaxation and for all the benefits of water living. Whether you want to build individual residences or a hospitality solution for your customers, OASys by Stephens Waring Yacht Design is the ultimate in Blue Mind accommodations. For more information, please reach out to us at SCarey@stephenswaring.com.
Break for Some Blue
For those times when you’re a little too far from the water.
Alberta, Canada PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVE VALLER
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BLUE
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