Staying healthy is a goal for pretty much everyone, regardless of their age, circumstances, or personality. However, when it comes to living in cities around the world, it can sometimes feel like good health isn’t on the agenda. Six of the healthiest cities to visit around the world and the reasons why. Take a look at this list of healthiest cities in the world.
From high levels of smog in many global cities to stressful lifestyles, traveling underground, and everything in between, it’s not always easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re living in a metropolis. Air pollution, in particular, is a serious problem. Its link to chronic health conditions such as asthma is well documented, but medical journals such as Oncotarget are shedding new light on its connection with cancer.
Many cities around the world are making a concerted effort to combat air pollution by doing their best to achieve a healthy city status. The benefits of living in a healthy city are numerous and can impact everything from vital organs such as your lungs to more subtle aspects of your health such as your psychological well being. With that in mind, these are some of the world’s healthiest cities.
Santa Fe, US
Located in one of America’s warmest regions, it’s no surprise that this New Mexico city counts dry, dirt-free air among one of its many health benefits. However, there’s much more to it than that: the residents of this city are known for taking steps to stay well, whether that’s engaging in holistic medicinal options or simply taking a healthy approach to their diets. And with low levels of ozone in the skies around this city, it’s no surprise that fit and healthy Santa Fe citizens are also doing their bit for the environment.
Moving northwards, the small but charming capital city of Ottawa in Canada is not only known among its residents as a clean, airy, and health-promoting city, but it has also been recognized by international institutions as somewhere ideal for looking into how to make the world’s cities into healthier places. The Biosphere project run by UNESCO, for example, has a testing ground here, and the project focuses on how Eco-cities of the future can be tranquil, healthy, and much more.
People from Iceland love getting out and about in their beautiful country, and from physical exertion to the nearby hot springs, there are lots of ways to enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise here. What’s more, this city has the lowest car density per square kilometer of any country on Earth – which not only means that they walk a lot but that they also cut down on the number of harmful emissions they breathe in. It’s a recipe for great public health!
While it might be beset by other public health problems, the West African nation Niger has one of the lowest rates of cancer of any place in the world – which gives its capital Niamey big plus points on the healthy city scale. Unlike Western locations such as Europe and North America, which have high cancer rates, Niger has a very low rate of just 63.4 incidences per 100,000 people. It’s believed that this is down in part to factors such as diet and the country’s low Gross Domestic Product.
Water is vital for all of us to survive, and we’re believed to need two liters or so per day to stay fully healthy. However, it’s not just about the quantity that we drink but also about the quality, and clean water means a cleaner bill of health. For the people of Kobe in Japan, their system of drains is optimized for this purpose. With unclean waste water going one way and drinking water going the other, the cleanliness of the liquid is extremely high.
If you’re searching for a model of how to do recycling, Adelaide in South Australia is the way to go. By moving away from using landfill sites excessively and developing a concerted recycling system instead, the environment here is green and clean. Pollution levels in this city are pretty low, and the Australian tradition of getting outside to do some sport and enjoy exercising in the sunshine also leads to health benefits.
With everything from the standard of drinking water, this organic coconut oil, to environmental conditions playing a role in how healthy a city is, there are lots of ways for public health officials to tackle the problems of urban ill health. While no city can claim to have it all when it comes to public health, it’s apparent that there are plenty of places around the world that have taken steps to give their cities a real health boost.