By Katie PhelanA new study shows the public has become increasingly comfortable swimming in pools, which are more accessible than the water around them.
The study also found that a large majority of people are comfortable with the idea of going swimming in their backyard.
The Public Health Institute at the University of California at San Francisco conducted the survey to explore how people feel about swimming in the open ocean and how they view public beaches.
A large majority (71 percent) of respondents said they felt that swimming in open water was a good idea, while only 19 percent of respondents thought swimming in a pool was okay.
The results were published in the journal Health Psychology.
The survey asked people a series of questions, including what they would do if someone were to drown at a beach.
Overall, 71 percent of the public thought it would be good if a person were to die in a beach, while the same percentage said that swimming was fine and would be safe.
There were also some exceptions, however, as only 28 percent of people said they would swim in the ocean and 15 percent of them said they wouldn’t swim in a public beach.
“Our study shows that public beaches are becoming more accessible as a public health concern, but also that the public still has concerns about their own physical safety and about others,” said researcher Shoshana Krawczyk, a professor of psychology and human behavior at UC San Francisco.
“For some people, public beaches become places they feel safe enough to be swimming.
For others, they feel unsafe and uncomfortable.”
The survey also found some surprising findings.
About three-quarters of respondents didn’t know if they were allowed to swim in their own backyard, compared to about one-third who knew that.
A similar proportion of respondents (73 percent) didn’t think swimming at a public park was okay, compared with about one in five who thought swimming was okay (24 percent).
And about half of respondents were worried about being bitten by a shark, compared a third of those who were unsure (27 percent).
“The number of people who are swimming in public is growing, but it’s not growing as fast as people are concerned about the potential of shark attacks,” said study co-author Dr. Elizabeth Pritchard, a UCSF professor of sociology.
“A number of factors are contributing to that.”
Krawczyk and Pritbey said that the data suggest that there’s a shift in the public’s perception of public beaches, as more people are willing to give the water a try and are aware that they can swim in them.
“People don’t feel safe in public pools, but they’re more aware that if they go in the water, they can potentially be bitten by an aggressive shark,” Pritchels said.
Pritchard said that if you’re worried about your own safety, then there are a number of things you can do to help prevent that.
For instance, you can try to avoid swimming at beaches if you have any pets in the area.
You can also wear a swimming mask, which makes it more difficult for sharks to bite you.
And if you are in a hurry, you might want to bring a camera along to film yourself while you’re swimming, and to document the shark bite.
“In our survey, most people felt comfortable with swimming in pool,” Pregards said.
“People feel safe with open water swimming, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do so.”