The University of Oxford and the University of Hong Kong studied the correlation between living in a city and health and found some interesting results.
The studies found that rates of obesity were lower in places with dense populations, also known as cities. This can be attributed to city folk walking more since their proximity to most of the places they visit are in walking distance. Based on these findings, the impact of urban living on overall health should be easy to determine. City dwellers typically walk more because everything they need is close to them. This results in lower obesity rates than in suburban and rural areas where sprawl forces most people to drive everywhere. Plus, being surrounded by others means city people spend more time socializing. That can have significant mental health benefits. Overall, this study concludes, living in urban areas isn’t as harmful to one’s well-being as the consensus seems to believe. There are many reasons why humans have chosen to live so close to one another throughout history. Even though technology has made it possible for us to live farther apart, that distance may be damaging to our health. For more details about how living in a city can mean a healthier lifestyle, see the charts on the accompanying guide.