Surprising Health Benefits of Living in Big Cities

health benefits of living in big cities

You might be under the impression that living in a big city will make you susceptible to a variety of health problems because cities tend to be more polluted than small towns and rural areas. But the truth is that there are a surprising number of health benefits of living in big cities, some of which are listed below.

Why Living in Big Cities Benefits Your Health

New Research

Gallup and Healthways conducted research that proves environments like big cities might actually be good for you, provided that you make it a point to use those places to remain active. Big cities often invest in things like parks, bike paths, public transit, and areas where you can walk to stores, restaurants, and work. Ultimately, this research shows that there are health benefits of living in big cities that people can take advantage of.

Put simply, when you’re living in a big city, you’ll have access to more opportunities for getting and staying active, including access to fitness facilities and outdoor spaces. Plus, you’ll be able to easily find restaurants serving healthy cuisine, and there will be plenty of farmers markets and supermarkets to choose from when it comes to purchasing health foods.

Better Health for City Folks

The research studied various communities across the United States and found that individuals living in the five most active communities had lower rates of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, and smoking. They also had higher rates of healthy eating, consumption of fresh produce, and exercise, especially when compared to individuals who were living in communities where low amounts of physical activity were possible.

The Best Cities to Stay Active

Where are the most active cities, and where can you reap the health benefits of living in big cities? San Francisco and Boston top the list as the most active communities in the United States. These cities are followed by New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

The Least Active Cities

On the flipside, the lowest active communities were found in states including Oklahoma and Indiana. Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne all scored lowest when it came to their active living infrastructure.

The next time you’re planning a move and you’re thinking about going into a big city, consider how doing so much actually be good for your health. Just make sure you do your research to find out how active a city will allow you to be. Opting to move to one of the cities that scored high on the list of active communities will ensure you’ll reap the most benefits.

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