For decades, the assumption has been that living in a city is a detriment to your health. Why would you choose to live in a noisy, crowded, urban environment when you could live in the country or in the suburbs? While the suburbia life may seem attractive to some, it may not be as good as you’ve been led to believe.
A recent study by the University of Hong Kong and the University of Oxford shows that rates of obesity are lower where population is denser, i.e. cities. In addition, people who live in cities socialize more often than suburban folk, which is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. The higher levels of socializing in cities can also have significant mental health benefits.
City folk tend to walk more often due to the proximity of places in urban areas. Most of your daily destinations are within walking distance, something that cannot be said about the suburbs. This increase in physical activity leads to lower rates of obesity in areas with higher population density, i.e. cities. Suburbia has the disadvantage of urban sprawl where the proximity of places forces people to drive more often.
The study concludes that living in urban areas isn’t as harmful as the consensus seems to believe. There are many reasons why the human race has chosen to live so close to one another throughout time, even as technology has made it possible to live very far apart. For more details about how living in a city can mean a healthier lifestyle, see the charts on the accompanying guide!