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City Dwellers Live Longer

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Trying to be healthy is as much about the quality of life as it is about the quantity for most people. We just want to live longer so that we can see more and see those we care about grow and succeed. This involves continually evaluating our lifestyles to make adjustments as necessary. Sometimes the choices are obvious, but not always. Conventional wisdom has it that moving out to the country is the best way to improve your health. You might be surprised to learn that urbanites actually have the lead on life expectancy for the moment. Since this defies expectations it merits a look into the various factors that motivate this gap in life spans. Good, clean country living certainly has something to be said for it, but at the moment there are some very clear problems.

A Quick Observation
Just so we’re clear, there is nothing wrong with getting away from the pollution of cities and living far away from it. This can actually be good for a number of reasons. The more active lifestyles associated with country living also offer plenty of benefits by helping people remain limber and healthy if they’re willing to take advantage of what it has to offer. Additionally, the relative ease of finding the space to grow your own food allows you to indulge in truly organic foods that you know from start to finish. This is highly beneficial for anyone’s health. After all, we could all stand to eat a healthier diet based around the foods we can grow. The factors that create the gap in life expectancy don’t actually surround any of these. They are broadly connected to the distribution of various resources though.

A Lack of Support
Rural areas have lower populations than urban areas and as a result as able to claim far few resources from the state. There is also a distinct problem drawing particular resources, especially doctors, out into rural areas to maintain practices. It makes them harder to maintain and keep up-to-date without the appropriate level of people coming in for care. Additionally, countless programs that we take for granted in urban living simply aren’t available out in the country. This results in worse health choices such as poor diets or not seeking medical attention when necessary. Urbanites do get to miss out on potential actual causes for more danger in the countryside though. The chance of animal attacks and accidents are higher out in the country. These are harder to respond to due to possible distance as well. The overall lack of support for rural communities is the predominant cause for people in the country living shorter lives overall.

An Urban Advantage
By contrast, urbanites enjoy ready access to a variety of convenient pharmacies and choices in care providers. Transportation is frequently available to help get us where we need to go if an illness has made it hard for us to drive ourselves. Similarly, a wide number of programs get financed by legislatures routinely. Children are taught better eating habits and simple exercises that they can use throughout life. The rest of us get support for ensuring that we look after ourselves and our loved ones. Paid leave is often readily available in urban jobs where it is less likely in rural jobs. A structure exists to help people take care of themselves in urban areas. It also helps that state-of-the-art medical facilities are almost always located in urban areas. Experimental treatments for difficult to treat diseases are also typically conducted on urban volunteers. There’s a quick response time for emergency care. Urbanities enjoy many advantages in exchange for food that isn’t as fresh and all the pollution.

It is easy to jump to the conclusion that urban life or country life is inherently better based on the factors your choose. Urban life has many benefits for helping people take care of their health and as a result, even with downsides like pollution, urbanites can be sure they’ll live longer. It isn’t because of any inherently healthier aspects to city living though. Interestingly, studies seem to indicate that people who move from urban to rural or vice versa tend to be healthiest of all as they learn every trick possible for caring for themselves. So that’s something to consider if you’re looking for a change and wish to take a long-term view of your health.

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