Regardless of what side you’re on in the nature vs. nurture debate, it’s tough to argue that your living environment doesn’t play some role in your lifestyle. For example, if you live in an area with nothing but fast food chains for miles, it’s likely you’ll indulge more than the person living in a rural setting.
So what cities are the best to encourage an overall active, healthy lifestyle?
A new report that comes a part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Series sought to find that answer. The study assigned an ‘Active Living’ score to every city in America, ranking based on factors such as walkability, bike-ability, the quality of the public transit system, and availability of well-maintained parks. In total, their research examined 48 medium-to-large metropolitans.
Alright, we’ve delayed the top five cities long enough – these were the best ranking American cities for people looking for a healthy environment & lifestyle:
- San Francisco
- New York City
- Washington, D.C.
In the study, the researchers found the residents from these five cities enjoyed significantly lower rates, on average, of multiple diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression. They also scored higher in exercise frequency, and ate more fresh produce.
But, where you live shouldn’t stop you from living an active, healthy lifestyle if that’s your goal. Having said that, widespread protected bike lanes and lots of green space for outdoor recreation, readily available in the aforementioned five cities, will certainly make sticking to a healthy regimen easier.