Urban or Rural Living Better, Which is Better for your Health? You’ll always be able to find a city dweller or a country dweller who says that they would rather die than live in the opposite location, but when it comes to your health, which is best?
So what are the pros and cons of both urban living and rural living, and which will ultimately be better for your health?
Let’s examine further.
While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that country living is better for your health, the question remains. People who don’t enjoy urban areas often see cities as crowded and stressful, full of unwanted noise and pollution, but as any person living in a beloved city knows, there is plenty more to city life than just the negatives.
Cities allow for more socializing and exposure to different foods, arts, and experiences. This can be incredibly enriching and provide people living in the city with ample opportunity to expand their horizons. People working in urban areas also often have more employer-sponsored healthcare plans, access to better medical care, and mental health services – all key elements of a healthy and happy population. While it is often more expensive to live in a city, people are also often paid better and have access to more jobs and more chances to further their education.
On the downside, urban living does expose you to some other, less pleasant things. Pollution is higher in cities, leading to higher rates of asthma. Some major cities, like Jaipur and Zhengzhou often have smog warnings during the warmer months when residents are warned to stay indoors. Cities also have less green space, which has been shown to negatively affect people’s mental health and cause increased violence and crime. There is also increased traffic and noise, which can cause sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating.
The wide-open spaces of rural living aren’t just picturesque, they’re cleaner. Smaller population densities mean there is less air traffic and less air pollution, which makes it easier for those with lung conditions. There is also less access to fast food, which means that people living in rural areas can eat healthier (though there is some debate on this). Heart foundations have long argued that country living is healthier since many people in rural areas suffer less from heart disease and have lower levels of stress. Rural areas also have more of a sense of community with people looking out for one another. This helps alleviate issues of homelessness and food insecurity since people are more aware of their neighbors struggles.
Unfortunately, not everything about rural living is ideal. Access to medical care is lacking in many rural areas, as is access to other health facilities like physiotherapy or mental health. There are more accidental injuries in rural areas, and more fatal car crashes. It is also surprising for many people to learn that more rural people are more sedentary since they must use a vehicle to do everything from shopping to going to work. They must actively try to move more than their urban counterparts, something Braceyourhealth discusses in their article on combating a sedentary lifestyle.
The final decision of whether living in a rural area or urban area is healthier comes down to what you enjoy most and what benefits you personally.
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