Big Cities Are Healthier Than Small Communities? Residents Of These Five Large Metropolises Are Happier, Claims Study

Surprisingly, big cities are healthier than small and secluded communities. The research that offers the uncharacteristic conclusion claims the large metropolises often offer and encourage a healthier lifestyle owing to the various infrastructural amenities.

Large cities have people who are happier and healthier as compared to small communities, claims a new research from Gallup in partnership with Healthways. The research reached the conclusion after studying infrastructure data from 48 U.S. cities and their surrounding areas.

According to the report, the top cities that people should live in are Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. Researchers claim that living in these cities offer several health benefits.

“Residents in these top five communities have, on average, significantly lower rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression compared with those in the five lowest-ranked active living communities.”

The cities that the report insists aren’t good for your health and wellbeing are Tulsa; Durham, North Carolina; Indianapolis; Oklahoma City and Fort Wayne, reported Web Top News.

The reason for the enhanced levels of happiness and healthiness is due to the “active living environments,” claim the researchers. While the major cities mentioned in the report might not evoke an image of healthy and contented living at the onset, it is the subtle changes and infrastructure deployments within the cities that accord a high score in health and wellness parameters.

The researchers analyzed the responses from approximately 150,000 telephone interviews that Gallup conducted with adults residing in 48 major cities across the United States, reported NBC News. The responses were compared with health effects of the environment in the cities owing to the developments, with particular attention to the ones that promote a healthier lifestyle.

Some of the basic components needed for a healthy living lifestyle that also promoted wellbeing were ample open spaces, excellent sidewalks, well-maintained parks, bike lanes, and reliable and accessible public transport systems. Essentially, the features of the cities must be designed in a way that promotes people to walk or exercise and use public transportation that significantly cuts down pollution emitted by personal vehicles that often ferry a single person.

Access to green spaces significantly lowered stress and other mentally imposing factors. As stress and tensions were lowered, so did the rates of diseases. As a result, people in these cities live a longer and healthier life as compared to other cities and communities.

Is it too late for smaller cities and large communities to offer infrastructure that promotes healthier lifestyles? Both the organizations involved in the study have collaborated for years to figure out and measure characteristics that help people add more healthy habits in their daily lives, reported Immortal News.

Incidentally, the federal government, in association with various health groups, has been trying to get Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Programs aimed at encouraging Americans to get off the couch and out of their cars have been deployed on large scale. Public awareness campaigns routinely ask the citizens to eat healthily and become more active.

While the actual efficacy of the campaigns may be debatable, the top cities mentioned in the report, have successfully used behavioral science to alter the lifestyle of the citizens subconsciously. The city of Albert Lea, for example, has deployed more than 10 miles of bike lanes and sidewalks. This has made the streets more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly, noted the report. The city also enacted stricter regulation on tobacco use and encouraged local eateries to offer more nutritious food choices.

By significantly investing in infrastructure that encourages citizens to become more physically active and penalizing those who pollute the environment, cities have boosted the pride possessed by the community members about their locality. The overall effect is a healthier population that also feels happier to stay there, concluded the research.

So far, the popular consensus has been the opposite of what is claimed by the report. Do you believe these five big metropolises offer a healthier and more contented lifestyle?

[Featured Image by Alexander W Helin/Getty Images]