When it comes to health and happiness, big cities win

When it comes to health and happiness, big cities win

It’s the first Wednesday in June, which means it’s National Running Day. As over two million people from different countries around the world prepare to go out for a run, we’d like to take the time to appreciate how important active living environments are to our communities. Sidewalks, roads, parks and green space not only provide us with a place to exercise, they also make for healthier Americans. Before you go out for your morning jog, take a look at how smart urban planning has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

Research shows Americans in big cities are healthier, happier

When it comes to overall health and happiness, why do big city residents win out over those from smaller communities? In the article Here’s Why Big Cities Are Healthier, Maggie Fox explains why city folk end up on top largely because of sidewalks, parks and good public transport.

According to a report by Gallup and Healthways, community investment in active living environments such as bike paths, parks and walkways had positive effects on the overall health and wellbeing of residents. Furthermore, research shows that access to green spaces encourages exercise and healthier eating, leading to lower stress levels and rates of disease.

The top five cities that scored the highest on health and wellbeing were Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York. Residents in these cities showed significantly lower rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression.

Sources: NBCnews.com, RunnersWorld.com

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