Living in a condensed urban area has gotten a bad rap for much of modern history due to its assumed detriments to your health. Because why would you choose to live in a crowded, noisy and dirty urban environment when you can get rid of all that in the suburbs? While the suburbs do have their own positives, the reality is a bit more complicated.
A study by the University of Hong Kong and University of Oxford found some interested correlations between obesity rates and population density. They found that the rate of obesity were lower in places where the population was denser, i.e. cities. Their lower density counterparts in the suburbs experience higher obesity rates due to something called Urban Sprawl. City folks tend to walk more due to the proximity of places near them. Urban sprawl forces suburbanites to drive everywhere, avoiding physical activity.
This increase in physical activity leads to lower rates of obesity in urban areas. In addition, the higher density folks had higher levels of socializing with other in this study. This can be a uptick in mental health along with the high physical activity rates, both being part of a positive and healthy lifestyle.
Based upon the findings from the study, the effects of urban living isn’t as harmful as the consensus would have you believe. For more details on how living in a city can be part of a healthy lifestyle, check out the infographic below!