A recent survey shows that big cities are winning the fight against smaller ones when it comes to a healthier environment. It may come as a surprise but it is actually true. The reasons for this are the parks, the good public transport and the sidewalks.
The top five big cities in the U.S which are considered healthy environments are Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Now it really gets strange, does it? Every American might consider this top inaccurate because these big cities are anything else but healthy. Traffic, pollution, toy name it. But they actually score high on other values which were considered in the making of this top.
The residents of these big cities smoke less and have lower rates of obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and depression. This is in contrast with the lowest ranked communities which are not so healthy, apparently. There are actually four key elements which the scientists discovered and which are contributing to these facts: walkability, easy biking, parks and public transport.
Organizations have been working closely together in order to establish a list of elements that need to be incorporated in the every-day life of any big city resident. Those elements have been quantified and the result is that they indeed help people become healthier. Exercise, green areas, healthy eating and a lower level of stress really are really contributing to maintaining a lower risk of diseases and a longer life span.
People need to become more active
Public health groups along with the government have been trying to make people become more active for years. To encourage them to not just take their car to work or to get off the sofa and exercise. Also, to give up junk food and start eating clean. And because of these efforts, the infrastructure has begun to change. And this is where small cities fall behind. They do not have such a developed infrastructure so it is more difficult for people to change their routine. But there is still hope. This is the case of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The smaller city has implemented bike lanes and sidewalks in order to encourage people to move. But Albert Lea is a far too isolated case than it would be necessary.
The American College of Sports Medicine ranked Washington as being one of the cities with the most active residents in the U.S. So the recent survey is not the only one to show such maybe surprising results. All of those concerns are coming after recent reports showed that more than two-thirds of the American people are overweight or even obese. This leads to heart diseases, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. Also, cancer is another worry which has its roots in the unhealthy way of life. Institutes have been working on plans to get people to eat more vegetables and less fat and salty meals. They also need to exercise more, especially young children which are presenting alarming levels of obesity. This is exactly why cities need to make changes in their infrastructures. And they need to make them now.
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