The medical benefits of sea bathing and swimming have a long history in Brighton & Hove and helped transformed the city from a fishing village to popular seaside resort.

In the 1740s, Dr Richard Russell went to Brighton to explore his theories on the medical properties of sea-water. His dissertation was the first book to make a connection between drinking and bathing in seawater and improvements in health.

Dr Russell recommended that people try the water near Brighton, proclaiming that sea water was superior to those cures provided by inland spas. By 1753, his treatment became so popular that he moved his surgery to Brighton changing the future of the city forever.

It seems that Dr Richard Russel was right according to a new major report by Swim England. Swimming for just half an hour three times a week can lower stress levels, raise mood, lower incidences of depression and anxiety and improve sleep patterns.

Swim England CEO Jane Nickerson said: “It is evident from the report that swimming has enormous potential to support the health and wellbeing of the nation.

The report particularly highlights the benefits of swimming and aquatic activities for people with mental health concerns.

Robert, who lives with Bi-Polar and Korsakoffs, is one of the many people experiencing the positive impact of swimming. His story is features as part of Swim England’s report.

I used to feel trapped and depressed about my conditions – but going swimming with others with the same problems has made me feel good about myself,” he said.

Swimming was a new outlet from my illnesses. My self-worth has improved and my confidence has improved.

It's just a simple swim – but it has changed my life.