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GJW Direct 2020

Boating is good for you - Confirmed by scientific study from award-winning marine biologist

by Domenic Genua 26 Sep 2020 22:18 BST
Fun for kids at the Festival of Sails © Teri Dodds

The benefits of recreational boating have been assumed for decades and now through some interesting and compelling work, it has been proven that boating is good for you.

The award-winning marine biologist Dr Wallace Nichols is internationally renowned for his study which, through a scientific evidence-based approach, has shown getting out on the water in a boat promotes rest, with significant physiological and psychological benefits. He has found that with our lives getting increasingly busy and stressed, boating is the perfect way to unwind and relax.

His research includes the vast cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits that we can all derive from healthy waters and oceans throughout our lives.

Through his research, Dr. Nichols has identified that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin and inducing relaxation. Being on the water promotes physiological and psychological benefits that help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more.

His study in the US has shown that 84% of parents think their kids would be more likely to unplug from their phones and laptops on a boat trip versus a road trip.

On a boat, feel-good hormones (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin) go up, while stress (cortisol) goes down.

Waterways give us half of our oxygen, provides people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and are the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history.

The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71 per cent of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and wellbeing. Little wonder when you consider our brains are 75 per cent water and our bodies are 60 per cent.

Dr Nichols says: "Being on a boat is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits of the water".

Across Australia good health is being celebrated during National Boating Week that runs through until 2 October, fittingly with the weekend of 3 and 4 October being the unofficial start of the boating season.

This week will also see the launch of DiscoverBoating.com.au, an information portal to help all Australians better understand and guide them with information, education and entertainment associated with boating.

The week will occur alongside with National Safe Boating Week organised and delivered by the Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group (ANZSBEG). Today their focus is on educating the public to understand that safe boating means knowing the limits of your vessel. They urge boaters to ensure that before they go out you your vessel is seaworthy and appropriate for the chosen activity. Find out more at www.amsa.gov.au/national-safe-boating-week

The BIA works with regulators to support our charter to encourage safe, responsible and enjoyable boating in all its forms.

People looking for more information are invited to visit DiscoverBoating.com.au or search for the Discover Boating Australia on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube & Twitter.

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