It’s common knowledge that swimming is good for your health. Swimming is good for the heart, and the exercise increases endorphins that provide a sense of well-being. Exercise isn’t the only way a pool can improve well-being, however. Evidence suggests that just looking at water can create a feeling of calm. Fish tanks in doctors offices help patients with dementia feel more at ease. When people go on relaxing vacations, they typically go where there’s water. A trip to the beach or lake provides a sense of calm for many, even without participating in swimming or other water activities. So what is it about water that calms us? Designing a Pool for Mental Well-being
Researchers have found that looking at water improves heart rate, blood pressure, and mood. Viewing ‘green spaces’, or areas with plants, has been researched extensively. ‘Blue spaces’, or areas with water and water features, are not as well covered by current research. So we can’t say for sure why water is so calming.
There are theories that looking at water increases certain hormones associated with well-being. Or it could be that humans are drawn to water due to our collective historical relationship to it. Whatever the reason, the early evidence is clear: being around water is beneficial to mental health.
In one study conducted on ‘blue spaces’, participants preferred pictures with water in them over pictures without. It didn’t matter whether the environment was urban or natural. No matter the setting, water is appealing.
So when considering installing a new pool, know that the right pool will provide well-being simply by looking at it. That’s in addition to the benefits provided by recreation. But not just any pool will do. The right pool should be well-designed, integrated with the landscape, and beautifully lit. For more information on the perfect pool to benefit your body and mind, contact us.