It may seem obvious, but living in a good neighborhood makes our health improve. And we are not talking about avoiding dangerous neighborhoods.
The mere fact of living in a place with pedestrian areas where neighbors greet you when they run into you on the street already makes our lives healthier.
The Lancet magazine published a study confirming that neighborhoods with recreational areas contribute to its inhabitants getting more physical exercise. Indeed, living in one of these neighborhoods would mean doing 90 minutes of exercise a week, 60% of the recommended amount.
How cities are designed has a large influence on how much physical activity its residents get. Just like living near your workplace and having stores and restaurants on hand contribute to active lifestyles. If our brain determines that we are within a reasonable distance, we will be more likely to walk or ride a bike than to drive the car. Thus, if we take several short walks every day, we are getting exercise.
This helps improve our sleep quality, have a better appetite, shed accrued tensions and charge ourselves with energy, thanks to the vitamin D in the sun.
So if you want to know if you live in a healthy neighborhood, check whether:
– It has a large population density
– It has a good number of parks
– It has several access points to transportation
– Good connectivity between streets
– There are restaurants and stores nearby