Mental health benefits from surfing

Mental health benefits from surfing

Mental health benefits from surfing comprise 57–74% of the total economic benefits of surfing; 4.4–13.5 times direct expenditure by surfers; and 4–12 times economic effects via property and inbound tourism.

The study released November 2023 is to measure the 'large-scale economic value of mental health benefits across the entire representative population of individuals who take part in recreational surfing'.

The techniques used are a similar approach to that used to quantify the value of national parks from a mental health viewpoint.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a beach tourist destination, with minimal manufacturing and negligible primary production industry. Its economy is driven largely by real estate, tourism, and trade and professional services such as building, healthcare and education. Its 2023 resident population is estimated at ~732,000. In 2008, there were 65,000–120,000 surfers1. Surfer numbers have doubled over the past 5 years alone, so we can estimate >130,000 surfers currently. The mean number of beach visits per capita in Australia is 6 per year. The mean number of surf sessions per Gold Coast surfer is reported at ~100/year1.

Ghost Racks Vertical Display

With limited industry on the Gold Coast, one exception is the number of inovative surfing related cottage industries like Ghost Racks.

The original creators of Palmers surf wax now own the Farking surf brand.

Correlative, longitudinal and experimental studies have proven that 'Reconnecting with Nature' makes us feel better because it reduces stress and anxiety and acts as a buffer to negative emotions. Contact with Nature also has a positive physiological effect by reducing the heart rate, muscle tension and blood pressure.

Reconnecting with Nature Gold Coast
Sources and References

1. Lazarow, N. A socioeconomic study of recreational surfing on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Griffith Centre for Coastal Management Research Report. Vol. 89, 1–57 (2008). Mental health contribution to economic value of surfing ecosystem services Reconnect with Nature Gold Coast Dr Steven Gtation

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